Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of Mower County, Minnesota : illustrated"

See other formats

;.•:!«.■'■  v-4"-' ''■>'>-';  ^/■v->;v,-''':  •!  ' 




M  L. 



3  1833  01053  2940 

O.  W.   SIIAW. 


—  OF— 

Mower  County  Minnesota 





John  H.  Skinner,  Esq.;  Gertrude  Ellis  Skinner;  Nathan  E.  Banfiold,  Esq.;   Herbert 
L.  Banfield,  Esq.;  Lafayette  French,  Esq.;   Col.  Arthur  W.  Wright;  Arthur  W. 
Allen,  M.  D. ;  Grace  B.  Sherwood ;  Lyman  D.  Baird,  Esq. ;  Nicholas  N.  Nichol- 
son, Esq. ;  L.  N.  Griffith,  Esq. ;  Ralph  E.  Crane,  Esq. ;  Jacob  S.  Decker,  Esq. ; 
O.  J.  Ehoades,  Esq.;  Col.  Charles  L.  West;  0.  J.  Simmons,  Esq.;  Eev.  C.  D. 
Belden;   Prof.  George  A.  Franklin;   Jennie  G.  Keith;   Mrs.  Lyman  A. 
Sherwood;  George  E.  Anderson,  Esq.;  C.  F.  Greening,  Esq.;  Hosmer 
A.    Brown,    Esq.;    Ealph    Preseott,    Esq.;    L.    W.    Sherman,    Esq.; 
William  Nordland,  Esq. ;  Henry  Weber,  Jr. ;  George  Sutton,  Esq. ; 
Ferdinand   G.   Eay,   Esq.;    Lorenzo   S.   Chapman,  Esq.;    A.   F. 
Stiles,  Esq.;  Mrs.  Ealph  E.  Crane;   Bert  A.  Johnson,  Esq.; 
Paul  C.  Keith,  Esq. ;  John  C.  Hawkins,  Esq. ;  and  many  others. 


H.  C.  COOPER.  Jr..  &  CO. 











It  is  with  a  i'eoliiig  of  considerable  pride  and  jdeasure  lliat  the 
publishers  present  this  history  for  the  approval  of  the  people  of 
Mower  county.  The  undertaking  has  not  been  an  easy  one  and 
the  difficulties  have  been  many,  so  many  indeed  that  this  publica- 
tion would  not  have  been  possible  without  the  liberal  assistance  of 
the  citizens  of  the  county.  The  chief  contributors  and  editors 
have  given  freely  of  their  time  and  talent ;  business  men,  church 
officials,  fraternity,  association  and  corporation  officers,  maniafac- 
turers,  professional  men  and  bankers,  often  at  great  personal 
sacrifice,  have  laid  aside  their  regular  duties  to  write  of  their 
communities  and  special  interests;  educators  have  written  of  the 
schools,  and  men  and  women  in  all  walks  of  life  have  given  the 
information  at  their  command,  regarding  themselves,  their  fami- 
lies, their  activities  and  their  localities.  To  all  of  these  the 
readers  of  this  work  owe  a  lasting  debt  of  gratitude,  and  to  each 
and  every  one  the  publishers  extend  their  heartfelt  thanks. 

In  handling  the  vast  amount  of  material  gathered  for  this 
work,  it  has  been  the  aim  of  the  entire  statf  to  select  such  matter 
as  is  authentic,  reliable  and  interesting.  Doubtless  facts  have 
been  included  that  many  will  deem  of  little  moment,  but  these 
same  facts  to  others  may  be  of  the  deepest  import.  It  may  be 
also  that  some  facts  have  been  omitted  that  many  readers  would 
like  to  see  included.  To  such  readers  we  can  only  say  that  to 
publish  every  incident  in  the  life  of  the  county  would  be  to  issue 
a  work  of  many  A^olumes.  and  in  choosing  such  material  as  would 
come  Avithin  the  limts  of  one  volume  we  believe  that  the  matter 
selected  is  that  Avhich  will  prove  of  greatest  interest  to  the 
greatest  number  of  readers,  and  also  that  which  is  most  woi'thy 
of  being  handed  down  to  future  generations,  who  in  this  volume, 
in  far  distant  years,  may  read  of  their  large-souled,  rugged-bodied 
ancestors  and  predecessors,  who  gave  up  the  settled  peace  of 
older  communities  to  brave  the  rigors  of  pioneer  endeavor. 

A  few  omissions  may  be  due  to  some  of  the  people  of  tlic 
county,  themselves,  as  in  several  instances  repeated  requests  for 
information  iiave  met  with  no  response.  In  such  cases  informa- 
tion gathered  from  other  sources,  while  authentic,  may  be  lacking 
in  copious  detail. 

Before  passing  hasty  judgment  on  apparent  errors,  one  should 
consider  carefully,  not  relying  on  tradition  or  memory.  In  many 
cases  we  have  found  that  persons'  nu^nories  are  faulty  and  tradi- 
tion erroneous  when  measured  by  the  standard  of  official  records, 
even  in  the  case  of  comparatively  recent  events,  while  in  many 
instances  families  are  under  the  impression  that  their  forebears 
arrived  in  the  county  long  ])efore  it  was  possible  for  them  to  do  so. 
We  have  endeavored  to  follow  a  uniform  sy.stem  of  the  spelling 
of  proper  names,  althougli  various  spellings  of  even  the  most 
familiar  names  appear  in  the  ncwsjjapers  and  records. 

Among  the  authorities  consulted  and  in  many  cases  quoted 


copiously  are :  History  of  Mower  County,  published  in  1884 ; 
Souvenir  of  Austin,  issued  by  the  Austin  Herald;  Minnesota  in 
Three  Centuries ;  the  histories  of  southern  Minnesota  counties  by 
the  editor  of  the  present  work ;  the  various  publications  of  the 
state  of  Minnesota  and  the  United  States  government,  as  well  as 
the  publications  of  the  Iowa  and  Minnesota  historical  societies, 
and  many  other  biographical,  historical  and  archaeological  works 
of  reference.  The  files  of  the  newspapers  of  this  and  neighboring 
counties  have  been  carefully  perused,  as  have  the  county,  town- 
ship, city,  church  and  village  records.  Hundreds  of  minute  books 
have  been  examined  and  thousands  of  letters  and  original  manu- 
scripts carefully  scanned.  To  all  who  have  extended  us  courtesies 
during  our  search  for  these  records  we  extend  our  thanks.  To 
John  H.  and  Gertrude  Ellis  Skinner  special  thanks  are  due  for 
many  writings  in  this  book  to  which  their  signatures  are  not 
affixed,  and  also  for  work  on  the  proofs. 

The  biographies  have  all  been  gathered  with  care  from  those 
most  interested,  and  with  a  few  exceptions  have  been  revised  and 
corrected  by  the  subject  of  the  biography  or  by  a  relative  or 
friend.  This,  however,  refers  to  the  dates,  and  sequence  of  events, 
all  personal  estimates  being  the  work  of  the  editors,  and  inserted 
in  biographies  onlv  after  consultation  Avith  other  members  of  the 

That  this  history  is  faultless  we  do  not  presume ;  it  is  probably 
not  within  the  power  of  man  to  arrange  a  work  of  this  kind 
without  mistakes  of  one  sort  or  another;  that  it  will  meet  the 
unqualified  approval  of  all  we  dare  not  expect,  but  we  trust  that 
the  inei'its  of  the  history  will  ovei'balance  any  shortcomings  that 
may  be  discovered. 

Our  association  with  the  people  of  IMower  county  has  been  a 
most  pleasant  one.  We  have  conscientiously  performed  our  task, 
and  in  placing  the  history  in  the  hands  of  those  Avhom  it  most 
conceims,  our  hope  is  that  we  have  done  our  work  well. 

H.  C.  COOPER,  JR.,  &  CO. 




lutroduction  —  Location  and  Area  —  Surface  and  Topog- 
raphy— Material  Resources 1-5 



Primeval  Solitude — Origin  of  Human  Life  in  Minnesota — - 
The  Lowland  Mound  Builders — The  Highland  ]\Iound 
Builders — Mower  County  a  Hunting  Place  for  the 
Indians    5-11 


Visit  to  AVashington — Boundary  Lines  Between  Indian  Tribes 
Defined — Territory  Now  Mower  County  Included  in  the 
Sioux  Jurisdiction — Second  Treaty  of  Prairie  Du  Chien 
— Some  of  Wabasha's  Men  Killed  by  the  Foxes  South  of 
Austin  in  Iowa — Strip  of  Territory  South  of  j\Iower 
County  Ceded  by  Treaty — The  Doty  Treaty  and  Its 
Failure — Treaty  of  Traverse  Des  Sioux — Treaty  of  Men- 
dota,  by  AYhich  Mower  County  AVas  Opened  to  Settle- 
ment     11-17 



Early  Claims  of  Title — Spain,  France  and  England — Treaties 
and  Agreements — The  Louisiana  Purchase — Indiana — 
Louisiana  District — Louisiana  Territory — IMissouri  Ter- 
ritory— Northwest  Territory — Illinois  Territory — Alichi- 
gan  Territory — Wisconsin  Territory — Iowa  Territory — 
No  Man's  Land — Sibley  in  Congress — IMinnesota  Terri- 
tory— Minnesota  State — Compiled  from  Alanuscripts  of 
Hon.  F.  M.  Crosby 17-36 



No  Evidence  That  the  French  Explorers  Ever  Saw  IMower 
County — United  States  Dragoons  the  First  White  ^len 
to  Leave  a  Record  of  Having  Visited  This  Localitv — 



Expedition  of  1835 — Four  Companies  Under  Lieutenant- 
Colonel  Stephen  W.  Kearney,  Avith  Albert  Lea  in  Com- 
mand of  Company  I,  Cross  Mower  County  Twice — ]Major 
Lawrence  Taliaferro,  Dr.  John  Emerson  and  the  Slave, 
Dred  Scott,  Visit  the  County  in  1836— Henry  H.  Sibley, 
Alexander  Faribault,  John  C.  Fremont  and  William  H. 
Forl)es  Here  in  1840 — Surveying  Party  in  1852 — Another 
in  1853 — Township  and  Section  Lines  Are  Surveyed..  .  .37-44 


Colony  of  the  Borderline  Between  Racine  Township  and  Fill- 
more Colony — Arrivals  in  Le  Roy  Township — Early  Set- 
tlement in  Lyle  and  Lansing — Settlers  of  1854 — Influx 
of  Population  Begins 44-46 


Mower  County  Included  in  Wabasha  and  Rice  Counties — 
Mower  County  Created — Organized  by  Governor  Gor- 
man— Commissioners  Meet  at  Frankford — Old  Election 
Precincts — Township   Boundaries 47-53 



Doings  of  the  Consecutive  Boards  of  County  Commissioners 
— County  Officials — Registers  of  Deeds — Treasurers — 
Auditors — Sheritifs^ — County  Attorneys — Clerks  of  the 
District  Court — Judges  of  Probate — Superintendents  of 
Schools — County  Buildings — Location  of  County  Seat — 
County  Court  House  —  County  Jail  —  County  Poor 
Farm    54-70 



i\Iower  County  in  Seventh  and  Fourth  Council  District — 
Fillmore  and  Mower  Counties  Made  the  Eighth  Council 
District — First  Representative  From  This  County  Takes 
His  Seat — Constitutional  Convention — Mower  and  Dodge 
Counties  Become  the  Thirteenth  Legislative  District — 
Mower  and  Dodge  Counties  Become  the  Fifteenth  Dis- 
trict— Mower  County  Becomes  the  Fourth  District — 
Changed  to  the  Third  District— Later  to  the  Sixth  "Dis-^ 
trict — Congressional  Representation 70-78 




Judicial  History  of  IMowei-  County — Judges  "Who  Have  Pre- 
sided in  the  Courts  of  This  District — Their  Life,  Ability 
and  Characteristics — The  Men  AVho  Have  Made  Up  the 
Bar  of  the  County — Notable  Cases  That  Have  Been  Tried 
Here — By  Attorney  Lafayette  French 78-05 



Old  Land  Grant  Roads  "With  Extensive  Concessions — Road- 
bed Graded  Through  I\Iower  County — Engine  Reaches 
Le  Roy — Freight  Car  Passes  Through  Mower  County 
from  New  York  to  St.  Paul — Later  Growth  and  Develop- 
ment of  the  Railroad  System  in  tlie  County — Chicago, 
Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul — Chicago  Great  Western — Illi- 
nois   Central 95-103 



Importance  of  the  Farming  Interests  of  ]\Iower  County — 
Character  of  the  Men  Who  First  Came  Here — Failure  of 
Wheat  Crop — Development  of  Diversified  Farming — 
Advantages — Mail  and  Trading  Facilities — Nature  of 
the  Soil — Sheep  and  Poultry  Breeding — The  Pork  Indus- 
try— Registered  Stock  Predominant — Homes  of  the 
Farmers — Agricultural  Societies — Storm  and  Floods — 
Grange  Movement,  Insurance  Companies 104-117 



Importance  of  Fruit  Growing  in  ]\Iower  County — "Experi- 
ences of  a  Veteran  Horticulturist,"  by  John  C.  Hawkins 
— Fruit  Growing  in  the  Early  Days — The  Minnesota  and 
Mower  County  Horticultural  Societies  Organized — Diffi- 
culties Encountered  in  Developing  Mower  County  as  a 
Fruit  Growing  Section  —  Persistent  Efforts  —  Oldest 
Orchard  in  Mower  County — Seedlings  Raised  Here. .  .118-122 



State  and  County  School  System — First  Schools  and  First 
Districts  in  Mower  County — State  Aid — Equipment — 
Literary  Societies — ^Meetings  for  Officers,  Teacliers  and 
Pupils — Exhibits  and  Contests — Institutes  and  Summer 
Schools — Parochial  Schools — Story  of  the  Districts — 
Prepared  With  the  Assistance  of  i\Iiss  Grace  B.  Sher- 
wood  122-142 




First  ]\Iarriage — Hunting  and  Trapping — Early  Days  in 
Cedar  City — Pioneers  of  Frankford — Frontier  Experi- 
ences by  Jacob  S.  Decker — Independence  Celebration — 
Early  Days  in  Lansing — By  0.  J.  Rhoades 142-151 



City  Founded  at  the  Old  Water  Ford — Coming  of  Austin 
Nichols — Arrival  of  Chauncey  Leverich — Beginning  of 
Settlement — Platting  the  Village — Pioneer  Days — Im- 
portant Events — Murder  of  Chauncey  Leverich — Stories 
of  the  Small  Beginnings  of  What  Has  Become  an  Impor- 
tant   City 155-180 



Incorporation  of  the  Village  in  1868 — Incorporated  as  a  City 
— Changes  in  Charter — Elective  and  Appointed  Officers 
AVho  Have  Served  the  Municipality — Important  Acts  of 
the  Successive  Councils — Home  Rule  Charter  Adopted 
—Edited  by  John  H.  Skinner 181-200 



Importance  of  the  Mercantile  Interests — Beginning  of  Indus- 
try—Austin in  1867— The  Railroad  Era— Austin  in  1876 
—Austin  in  1884 — The  IModern  Period — Manufacturing 
Interests — First  Mill — Former  Industries — Modern  In- 
dustries—Edited by  Charles  L.  West 200-211 



First  Mill — Former  Industries — Present  Interests — Story  of 
the  Growth  and  Development  of  the  Various  Plants 
Which  Have  Assisted  in  the  Progress  of  the  City — ]\Iinor 
Activities    ". 212-227 



Masonic  Orders — Odd  Fellows — Pythian  Orders — Catholic 
Orders— Order  of  Elks— Oth.'r  Fraternal  Orders— Patri- 
otic Orders — Catholic  Orders — Railroad  Orders — Fra- 
ternal Insurance — Scandinavian  and  Teutonic  Lodges — 
Industrial — Driving  Associations — Edited  by  Osmau  J. 
Simmons 227-241 




Advantages  of  the  City,  Written  by  Rev.  C.  D.  Belden — 
Religious  Activities,  by  Robert  L.  Moore — Austin  Clubs, 
by  Miss  Jennie  G.  Keith — St.  Olav  Hospital  and  Training 
School — Austin  Schools,  by  Prof.  George  A.  Franklin — 
Austin   Hotels " 241-284 



Story  of  the  Growth  and  Development  of  the  Financial  Inter- 
ests of  the  County,  Told  by  Nathan  F.  Bantield— First 
Bank  in  the  County — Banks  of  Austin,  Grand  IMeadow, 
LeRoy,  Lyle,  Adams,  Racine,  Rose  Creek,  Dexter,  Sar- 
geant,  Brownsdale,  AValtham,  Taopi — Summary  of  Bank- 
ing Conditions  in  Mower  County 285-298 



Reminiscences  of  Mrs.  Lyman  A.  Sherwood — Trip  From 
Winona — Incidents  on  the  AVay — Arrival  in  Austin — 
Austin  as  a  Pioneer  Village — Fourth  of  July  Celebration 
- — Incidents  of  the  Early  Days — Life  in  "Old  Headquar- 
ters"— Work  on  the  Cemetery — Off  for  the  Civil  War — 
Indian  Scare— Other  Anecdotes 299-308 



Introduction  by  Gertrude  Ellis  Skinner — Story  of  the  First 
Newspaper  in  the  County — History  of  the  Founding, 
Growth,  Development  and  Present  Status  of  the  Journals 

of  Mower  County 309-318 



His  Proud  Achievements — His  Solemn  Oath — His  Ethics — 
The  True  Physician — His  Reward — His  Delicate  Relation 
to  the  Human  Family — His  Inventions  and  Discoveries 
Free  Gifts — The  Pioneer  Doctor — His  Cliaracter  and 
Services — His  Limitations — The  Pioneer  Physicians  of 
Mower  Countv — The  IMower  County  ^Medical  Association 
—Edited  by  A.  W.  Allen,  M.  D 319-328 



Outbreak  of  the  War — The  First  AVar  .Meeting  in  Slower 
County — Newspaper  Clippings  of  Stirring  War  Events 
— List  of  Veterans  AVho  Enlisted  from  ]\Iower  County, 



AVitli  History  of  Their  Eegiments  —  Houoi*  Roll  of 
Mower  County  Heroes  AVho  Laid  Down  Their  Lives  for 
the  LTnion — Col.  Henry  C.  Rogers  and  His  Record — By 
Col.  A.  W.  Wright.  /. 328-346 



Growth  and  Development  of  the  System — First  Offices  in 
]\Iower  County — Stories  of  the  Stage  Coach  Drivers — 
History  of  the  Present  and  Discontinued  Postoffices  of 
MoAver  County — Edited  by  George  E.  Anderson 346-358 



Location  and  Soil  of  Township — Early  Settlement — Organi-  . 
zation — Village  of  Grand  INIeadow — Opening  of  the  Set- 
tlement    and    Early     Business     Interests  —  Societies  — 
Churches — Postoffice — Library  —  Catastrophes  —  Early 
Events— Village    Government." 358-373 



Red  Rock  Township — Early  Settlement — First  Events — 
Organization  —  Brownsdale  Village  — "Organization  — 
Early  Business — Serious  Water  Spout — Brownsdale  m 
1871 — Brownsdale  in  1885^Modern  Brownsdale — Fra- 
ternities, Churches  and  Industries — Edited  by  Hosmer 
A.  Brown . 374-388 



Location  and  Area — First  Events — Early  Settlement — Or- 
ganization— Old  Village — LeRoy  Village — Beginning  the 
New  Village — LeRoy  in  1868 — Early  Business — LeRoy 
in  1871  —  LeRoy  in  1884  —  Religious  —  Cemeteries  — 
Modern  LeRoy— Disasters 389-410 



Location  and  Area — Early  Settlement — First  Events — Cedar 
City — Village  of  Lyle — Able  Articles  by  William  Nord- 
land  and  L.  W.  Sherman — Development  of  the  Village — 
City  -Hall  —  Fire  Department  —  Churches  —  Fraternal 
Orders  —  Industries  —  Telephone  Company  —  ^Municipal 
History— Recollections  of  Early  Lyle 410-428 




Dexter  Township — Location  and  Soil — Settlement — Organi- 
zation— Religious — Dexter  Village — Location  and  Settle- 
ment— Village  Plats — Village  Incorporation  and  Officers 
"With  Village  Improvements  —  Churches  —  Edited  by 
Henry  "Weber,  Jr.— Renova— Sutton 428-439 



Location,  Advantages  and  Area — Early  Settlement — First 
Events — Organization  of  the  Township — Religious — 
Rose  Creek  Village — Location,  Platting,  Incorporation 
and  Officers — Business  in  the  Early  Days — Churches — 
Edited  by  George  Sutton  and  Ferdinand  G.  Ray 489-4.31 



Location  and  Area — Soil  and  Waters — Early  Settlement — 
First  Events — Organization — Immense  Farm — Village  of 
Taopi  —  Taopi  in  1875  —  Taopi  in  1884  —  ^Modern 
Taopi  452-456 



Location  and  Area — Early  Settlement — Organization — Reli- 
gious— First  Events — Old  AS'altham  Hoiase — Cemetery — 
Old  Waltham  Village — New  Waltham  Village — Modern 
"Waltham  —  Business  Interests  —  Church  —  School  and 
Creamerj^ — Edited  by  Lorenzo  S.  Chapman 456-464 


Location  and  Area — Early  Settlement — Organization — Reli- 
gious— Hamilton  Village — Racine  Village — Edited  by 
A.  F.  Stiles r 464-468 



Location  and  Area — Early  Settlement — Organization — Early 
Hotel  and  Store — St.  John's  Church — Sargeant  Vil- 
lage     469-472 



Location  and  Natural  Advantages — First  Settlement — First 
Events — Organization — Religious  History — IMill  Sites — 
Cemetery  472-478 




Location  and  Area  —  Early  Settlement  —  Organization  — 
Bounty — Churches — Railroads — First  Events — ]\Iills  — 
Cemeteries  —  Lansing  Village  —  Early  Interests  —  ^la- 
sonie  Lodge — Ramsey  Junction — Corning  Village.  .  .  .478-487 



Location  and  Advantages — Early  Settlement — Organization 
- — First  Events — Religious — Frozen  to  Death — Village  of 
Adams  487-495 



Location  and  Soil — Early  Settlement — Frankford  Village — 
Bear  Creek — Norwegian  Settlement — History  of  Town- 
ship and  Village  by  Mrs.  Ralph  E.  Crane 495-504 



Location  and  Area — Early  Settlement — Organization — First 

Events — Religious — Town  Hall  and   Cemetery 504-506 



Location  and  Advantages — Early  Settlement — Organization 

— Name — Cemetery 506-507 


Location  and  Area — Early  Settlement — Organization 507-510 


Location  and  Area — Early  Settlement — First  Events — Reli- 
gious— Accidental  Deaths — Origin  of  Name — Cemetery 
— Madison  Village — Red  Oak  Grove  Settlement  and 
Church 510-521 




Location  and  Advantages — First  Settlement — Early  Events 

— Organization — Religious — Norwegian    Settlement .  .  .521 -.')2:? 



Location  and  Area — First  Settlement — Organization — First 
Events — Religious — Industries — Six  Mile  Grove  Settle- 
ment   523-.'328 



Second  Infantry  M.  N.  G. — Company  "G"  of  Austin — Com- 
pany "G"  in  the  Twelfth  Minnesota  Volunteer  Infantry, 
Spanish-American  AYar — Officers  and  Men — First  and 
Present  Officers— By  Col.  Arthur  W.  AVright 528-532 



Story  of  Early  Political  Parties  and  Contests  Told  by  Jacob 
N.  Nicholsen — East  and  West  Side  Fights — Nominees 
and  Results  of  Elections  in  Ante-Bellum  Days — AVar 
Time  Politics — Exciting  Days  for  Mower  County. . . . 532-5 i2 



Land  Office  Records — Date  of  First  Claims  Taken  in  Each 
Township,  With  the  Names  of  the  Pre-emptors — Honor 
Roll  of  Those  Who  Braved  the  Hardships  of  Pioneer  Life 
and  Fultilled  the  Government  Requirements  of  Actual 
Residence  in  the  Earliest  Days — Old  Settlers'  Asso- 
ciation   542-553 


Importance  of  the  Dairy  Industry  in  Slower  County — A.  V. 
Ellis  the  Father  of  Dairy  Farming  In  This  Vicinity — 
Story  of  the  Present  Day  Creameries — The  Dairy  Cow, 

Her  Worth  and  Virtues— By  H.  L.  Bantield 553-555 

Note — The    biographical   index   will   be   found   in   the   back 

part  of  this  volume. 

History  of  Mower  County 



Introduction — Location   and   Area — Surface   and   Topography — 
Material  Resources. 

Situated  iu  the  southeastern  portion  of  that  rolling  sweep  of 
country  known  as  southern  Minnesota,  is  a  pro.sperous  county  that 
has  taken  its  name  from  John  E.  Mower,  an  early  member  of  the 
Minnesota  Territorial  Legislature. 

A  rolling  prairie,  interspersed  with  natural  and  domestic 
groves,  beautified  by  meandering  streams,  and  surfaced  with  rich, 
deep  soil,  the  county  has  advantages  which  have  placed  it  in  the 
foremost  ranks  of  Minnesota's  agricultural  and  grazing  districts. 
The  elevation  of  this  stretch  of  land  above  the  sea,  its  fine  drainage 
and  the  dryness  of  the  atmosphere,  give  it  a  climate  of  unusual 
salubrity  and  pleasantness.  Its  latitude  gives  it  correspondingly 
longer  days  in  summer,  and  during  the  growing  seasons  about 
one  and  a  half  hours  more  of  sunshine  than  in  the  latitude  of 
St.  Louis.  This  taken  in  connection  with  the  abundant  rainfall 
in  early  autumn,  accounts  for  the  rapid  and  vigorous  growth  of 
crops  in  this  vicinity  and  their  early  maturity.  The  refreshing 
breezes  and  cool  nights  in  summer  prevent  the  debilitating  effect 
of  heat  so  often  felt  in  lower  latitudes.  The  winter  climate  is 
also  one  of  the  attractive  features.  Its  iiniformity  and  its 
dryness,  together  with  the  bright  sunshine  and  the  electrical 
condition  of  the  air,  all  tend  to  enhance  the  personal  comfort  of 
the  resident,  and  to  make  outdoor  life  and  labor  a  pleasure. 

Embracing  as  the  county  does,  so  pleasing  a  prospeet  to  the 
eye,  and  so  fruitful  a  field  for  successful  endeavor,  it  is  natural 
that  the  people  who  from  the  earliest  days  were  attracted  here, 
should  be  the  possessors  of  steady  virtues,  ready  to  toil  and  to 
sacrifice,  that  their  labors  might  be  crowned  witli  the  fruits  of 
prosperity  and  happiness.  The  cities  and  villages  of  tlie  county 


have  had  their  part  in  the  general  commercial  upbuilding  of  the 
state,  and  furnish  excellent  trading  and  shipping  facilities  for  the 
rural  districts.  In  these  centers,  manufacturing  is  carried  on  to  a 
greater  or  less  extent ;  the  milling  business  is  naturally  important ; 
and  the  dairy  and  creamery  interests  are  paramount. 

The  rural  districts  are  the  scene  of  peace,  prosperity  and 
contentment.  The  homes  are  substantially  built,  and  furnished 
with  the  comforts  and  conveniences  of  modern  life,  stock  is 
humanely  housed  and  well  pastured,  the  farm  land  is  extensively 
tilled  and  productive,  and  the  churches  and  schools  Avhich  are 
seen  on  every  side  testify  to  an  interest  in  the  higher  things 
of  life  by  a  law-abiding,  progressive  and  loyal  people. 

Tt  is  indeed  in  its  men  and  women,  rather  than  in  its  grains 
and  vegetables,  its  live  stock  and  fruit,  its  factories  and  commerce 
that  Mower  county  takes  its  greatest  pride.  From  her  farms, 
from  her  cities,  and  from  her  villages,  have  gone  out  those  who 
have  taken  an  important  part  in  the  activities  of  the  world,  and 
who  whether  in  commerce  or  diplomacy,  in  the  professions  or  in 
the  trades,  have  maintained  that  steadfastness  of  purpose  and 
staunchness  of  character  that  mark  true  Mower  county  men  and 
women  wherever  they  may  be  found. 

Usually  blessed  by  nature  with  deep  soil  and  abundant  natiiral 
resources,  and  endowed  with  a  wealth  of  prehistoric  and  historic 
lore,  the  county  is  a  fitting  home  for  the  sturdy  people  who  have 
here  made  their  dwelling  place.  Hard-working,  progressive, 
educated  and  prosperous,  they  have  appreciated  the  gifts  which 
nature  has  spread  for  them,  and  have  added  their  own  toil,  and 
the  fruit  of  their  intellects,  to  the  work  of  the  elements,  making 
the  country  one  of  the  beautiful  spots  of  the  earth.  On  the  slopes 
of  land  graze  cattle  and  sheep,  while  the  level  lands  respond  to 
the  eiiorts  of  the  spring-time  sower  and  planter  with  a  Avealth  of 
harvest  in  the  summer  and  autumn.  On  nearly  every  quarter 
section  is  reared  a  comfortable  home  and  commodious  barns, 
while  from  the  crest  of  every  swell  of  land  are  visible  the  churches 
and  schools  wherein  the  people  worship  the  Giver  of  all  Gifts, 
and  educate  their  children.  Thus  blessed  by  God  and  beloved  by 
man,  the  county  today  stands  for  all  that  is  ideal  in  American 
life  and  is  forging  ahead  to  still  wider  influence  and  more 
extended  opportunity. 

Location  and  Area.  The  county  of  Mower  lies  in  the  south- 
eastern portion  of  I\Iinnesota,  only  two  counties  separating  it  from 
the  Mississippi  river,  while  it  forms  one  of  the  southern  tier  of 
counties.  The  county  is  bounded  on  the  north  by  Dodge  and 
Olmsted  counties;  on  the  east  by  Fillmore  county,  the  west  by 
Freeborn  county;  and  on  the  south  by  the  state  of  Iowa.  The 
county  comprises  an  area  of  about  453,120  acres,  or  708  square 


miles.  It  includes  congressional  townships  101,  102,  103  and  104, 
north,  ranges  14,  15,  16,  17  and  18  west  of  the  Fifth  principal 
meridian,  except  sections  1  to  6,  in  township  104,  ranges  34  and  15, 
which  were  cut  oft*  and  annexed  to  Olmsted  county,  ]\Iay  22, 
1857.  This  territory  is  organized  into  the  following  civil 
townships:  Udolpho,  AValtham,  Sargeant,  Pleasant  Valley, 
Racine,  Frankford,  Grand  Meadow,  Dexter,  Red  Rock,  Lansing, 
Austin,  Windom,  Marshall,  Clayton,  Bennington,  LeRoy,  Lodi, 
Adams,  Nevada  and  Lyle. 

Surface  and  Topography,  The  general  surface  features  of 
Mower  county  can  more  accurately  and  more  readily  be  seen  by 
a  glance  at  the  description  of  the  various  townships,  than  can 
possibly  be  given  in  a  general  chapter.  The  surface  of  the  county 
is  somewhat  diversified;  yet  the  whole  is  gently  undulating. 
Nowhere  within  the  limits  of  the  county  does  the  surface  approach 
the  character  properly  called  hilly,  but  maintains  throughout  its 
general  smoothness,  and  susceptibility  of  cultivation.  The  situation 
is  necessarily  healthful  and  free  from  malaria.  The  cold  springs 
of  crystal  water  that  burst  through  the  surface  of  the  soil,  feed 
the  numerous  streams  that  flow  in  every  direction  from  the 
borders.  The  elevation  is  an  effectual  and  perpetual  injunction 
against  the  inroads  of  fevers  of  any  kind.  The  Red  Cedar  river 
iu  the  western  tier  of  townships,  receives  the  waters  of  Rose, 
Dobbins'  and  Turtle  creeks  from  the  east  and  flows  soutlnvard 
into  Iowa.  The  little  Cedar  river  is  in  the  south  central  part  of 
the  county,  and  further  south,  in  Iowa,  joins  with  the  Red  Cedar 
river  to  form  the  Cedar  river,  which  stream  in  turn  joins  the  Iowa 
river  and  thus  reaches  the  Mississippi.  The  Wapsipinicon  river, 
Avhich  rises  in  the  south  central  part  of  the  county,  flows  through 
Iowa  to  the  Mississippi.  A  branch  of  the  upper  Iowa  rises  in  the 
southeastern  part  of  the  county.  In  the  northeast  and  eastern  part 
of  the  county,  are  many  tributaries  of  the  Root  river,  which  river 
flowing  northeast  and  east  reaches  the  Mississippi  river.  The 
county  has  also  several  small  creeks,  and  a  number  of  springs. 

As  an  agricultural  and  stock  raising  region  Mower  county  is 
not  excelled  by  any  county  in  the  state.  The  soil  is  A'ery 
productive;  being  a  rich,  dark  sandy  loam,  well  adapted  to  all 
cereals  common  to  this  latitude.  It  is  also  excellently  adapted 
to  the  production  of  cultivated  and  indigenous  grasses,  and  the 
raising  of  stock,  both  common  and  blooded,  attracts  the  general 
attention  of  the  intelligent  class  of  farmers  who  have  located  here. 
Timber  is  found  in  considerable  quantities  along  the  banks  of  the 
water  courses  and  distributed  in  beautiful  groves,  botli  natural 
and  domestic,  all  over  the  county.  The  general  varieties  of  timber 
are  oak,  maple,  ash,  hickory,  walnut,  basswood,  elm.  cottonwood, 
poplar,    etc.     Four     nuts     grow     here — hickoi'v     nuts,     walnut;'. 


hazelnuts  and  butternuts.  The  wild  lands  are  covered  with  the 
richest  and  most  nutritious  grasses,  eminently  adapted  to  grazing. 

From  the  Geological  and  Natural  History  Survey  of 
]\Iinnesota  from  1872  to  1882,  as  compiled  by  Prof.  N.  H.  Winchell, 
assisted  by  Warren  Upham,  Ph.  D.,  we  make  several  extracts  of 
that  portion  relating  to  Mower  county : 

Estimates  of  the  average  height  of  the  townships  of  this 
couuly  arc  as  follows:  Racine,  1,300  above  the  sea;  Frankford, 
1,320;  Bennington,  1,325;  LeRoy,  1,300;  Pleasant  Valley,  1,350; 
Grand  JMeadow,  1,360;  Clayton,  1,360;  Lodi,  1,325;  Sargeant, 
1,360;  Dexter,  1,360;  Marshall,  1,330;  Adams,  1,275;  Waltham, 
1,340;  Red  Rock,  1,270;  Windom,  1,240;  Nevada,  1,230;  Udolpho, 
1,260;  Lansing,  1,225;  Austin,  1,190;  Lyle,  1,190.  The  mean 
elevation  of  jMower  county  is  approximately  1,300  feet  above 
the  sea. 

The  soil  of  IMower  county  is  everywhere  dependent  on  the 
nature  of  the  drift.  The  underlying  rock  has  affected  it  only  so 
far  as  it  may  have  mingled  with  the  general  mass.  It  is  hence 
primarily  a  gravelly  clay,  that  being  the  character  of  the  subsoil 
throughout  the  county.  This  gravelly  clay,  however,  is  not 
prominently  displayed  as  the  immediate  soil  of  the  surface. 
Indeed,  the  farmer  in  plowing  rarely  penetrates  to  it.  It  lies 
below  a  rich  loam  usually  at  depths  varying  from  zero  to  two 
or  three  feet,  or  even  more.  The  surface  soil  itself,  which  has 
resulted  from  it  through  the  agency  of  the  forces  of  the  atmosphere 
and  of  vegetation,  is  of  a  dark  color,  and  in  general  may  be 
designated  as  clayey  loam,  or  a  sandy  loam,  depending  on  the 
nature  and  completeness  of  the  local  drainage.  In  low  grounds 
this  loam  is  thick  and  of  dark  color.  It  is  also  apt  to  be  more 
clayey  in  low  ground  than  it  is  on  the  hillsides  or  slopes  ad.joining, 
and  on  high  hills  or  steep  slopes  it  is  thin  or  wanting,  the  wash 
of  the  surface  having  carried  it  into  valleys.  Along  the  streams 
it  often  consists  of  an  arenaceous  loam  variously  mingled  witli 
the  detritus  of  the  flood-plain. 

The  soil  of  the  county  is  everywhere  characterized  by  the 
strength  and  fertility  that  the  drift  soils  of  the  Northwest  are 
noted  for.  They  are  the  most  reliable  soils  for  all  the  purposes 
of  the  farmer  that  are  known.  The  states  that  are  regularly  and 
deeply  l)uried  in  drift  deposits  are  known  as  the  best  farming 
states  of  the  Union.  Certain  rock  soils,  endowed  with  special 
qualities,  may  excel  in  tlie  production  of  certain  crops,  especially 
ill  rjixorablc  seasons,  luit  for  general  tillage  they  cannot  com- 
])c1('  Willi  llic  lioiiioiicncous  drift  soils,  througli  which  are  disscm- 
ii);i1  cd  llic  <;(i(i(l  (|iiali1i('s  ol'  tli(>  various  rocks  concerned  in  their 
production,  in  llic  |)roi)oi1i()iis  that  make  stability  and  diversity 
c(]ually  ccrliiiii. 


A  detailed  account  of  the  geologic  features  of  Mower  county 
may  be  found  in  the  published  reports  of  the  "Geological  and 
Natural  History  Survey  of  ]\Iinnesota, "  to  which  reference  has 
already  been  made. 

Material  Resources.  With  tlie  exception  of  the  central  high 
prairie  portion  of  Mower  county,  it  is  tolerably  well  supplied 
with  wood  for  common  fuel.  On  the  prairies  referred  to  wood 
is  rare.  Along  the  valleys  of  the  streams  in  the  eastern  and 
western  portions  of  the  county  the  first  settlements  took  place. 
The  principal  natural  wealth  of  the  county  lies  in  its  soil  and  its 
agricultural  adaptations.  The  people  are  generally  farmers.  The 
growth  of  the  county  in  all  respects  will  be  primarily  dependent 
on,  and  co-ordinate  with,  the  settlement  of  the  farming  lands, 
and  their  protitable  tillage.  Quarrying  is  carried  on  to  some 
degree,  lime  is  burned,  cement  is  made,  and  from  the  early  days 
brick  have  been  manufactured  in  the  county.  At  the  present 
time  brick  and  tile  making  in  Austin  is  a  most  important  indus- 
try. Many  wells  have  been  sunk  in  the  soil  of  the  county  and 
the  water  thus  obtained  is  uniformly  excellent. 



Primeval  Solitude — Origin  of  Human  Life  in  Minnesota— The 
Lowland  Mound  Builders — The  Highland  Mound  Builders — 
Mower  County  a  Hunting  Place  for  the  Indians. 

From  the  first  existence  of  the  earth  to  the  time  of  the  coming 
of  man  many  aeons  passed,  and  after  countless  ages  this  locality 
awaited  human  habitation.  Primeval  nature  reigned  in  all  het 

"The  buffalo,  the  elk,  and  the  deer,  for  centuries  roamed  the 
wild  prairies  and  woodlands;  fishes  basked  undisturbed  in  its 
rippling  streams;  the  muskrat,  the  otter,  and  the  mink  gamboled 
upon  the  ice  in  winter  with  no  man  to  molest  them.  Ducks, 
geese,  and  other  aquatic  fowls,  in  countless  numbers,  covered 
the  streams  in  summer,  and  chattered  and  squawked  and  frolicked 
in  all  their  native  glory  and  liappiness.  The  prairie  wolves 
howled  upon  their  little  hillocks,  and,  cowardlike,  were  always 
ready  to  attack  and  destroy  the  weak  and  defenseless.  Pocket 
gophers  went  on  with  their  interminable  underground  op<'ra- 
tions,  all  unconscious  of  the  inroads  later  to  be  made  upon  their 


dominions  by  the  husbandman.  Grouse  and  prairie  chickens 
cackled,  crowed  and  strutted  in  all  their  pride.  Blizzards  and 
cyclones  swept  unheeded  across  its  domains. 

"The  autumnal  prairie  fires,  in  all  their  terrible  grandeur  and 
weird  beauty,  lighted  the  heavens  by  night  and  clouded  the  sun 
by  day.  Age  after  age  added  richness  to  the  soil  and  prepared 
it  to  be  one  of  the  most  productive  fields  of  the  Avorld  for  the 
abode  of  the  husbandman  and  for  the  uses  of  civilized  man." 

At  some  period  of  the  earth's  history,  mankind  in  some  form 
took  up  its  abode  in  the  area  that  is  now  Mower  county.  The 
origin  of  human  life  in  Minnesota  has  been  made  a  subject  of 
special  study  by  Dr.  Warren  Upham,  secretary  of  the  Minnesota 
Historical  Society,  and  the  thoughtful  student  is  referred  to  his 
various  articles  on  the  subject;  a  detailed  discussion  being  be- 
yond the  scope  of  this  work. 

It  is  possible  that  this  region  may  have  been  occupied  by 
primitive  man  in  glacial,  inter-glacial  and  pre-glacial  times.  Prof. 
Edward  W.  Schmidt,  the  distinguished  INIinnesota  archreologist, 
has  investigated  the  mounds  lying  in  the  lowlands  and  on  the 
prairies  of  Minnesota  and  Iowa,  and  it  is  possible  that  a  new 
chapter  will  soon  be  added  to  the  world's  knowledge  of  pre- 
historic life  in  this  region. 

There  are  some  of  these  lowland  mounds,  so  called,  on  the 
road  between  Austin  and  Faribault,  and  many  on  the  prairies 
between  Grand  IMeadow  and  Le  Eoy.  The  name  lowland  mounds 
is  given  to  distinguish  this  class  of  mound  from  the  highland 
mounds,  so  well  known  on  eminences  along  the  Mississippi  and 
its  larger  tributaries. 

The  mounds  between  Grand  Meadow  and  Le  Roy  have  thus 
far  l)een  the  subject  of  little  more  than  superficial  notice,  but 
Vv'ill  be  investigated  more  thoroughly  at  a  later  date.  They  are 
first  seen  surrounding  a  marsh  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile  across, 
about  two  miles  and  a  quarter  south  of  Grand  Meadow.  About 
twenty  are  here  visible,  rising  each  about  two  feet  above  the 
surface.  Farther  south  they  increase  in  number,  extending  three 
or  more  miles  toward  the  south  and  southwest.  Probably  500 
could  be  counted,  some  being  five  feet  high.  They  are  scattered 
promiscuously  over  the  upper  prairie.  The  surface  has  the  ap- 
pearance of  having  been  poorly  drained  formerly,  and  was  per- 
haps covered  with  shallow  water  till  late  in  the  summer  season. 
It  is  thought  that  they  occur  where  the  ground  is  wet  and  tlie 
clay  near  the  surface.  Yet  south  of  the  region  designated  they 
do  not  exist,  thoiigh  there  is  no  apparent  diflt'erence  in  the  prairie. 
Tlie  material  of  which  they  consist  is  the  ordinary  loam  of  tlie 
surface  soil.  Several  of  them  have  been  removed,  when  near 
tlie  higliway,  and  the  material  hauled  into  the  street  for  grading. 


There  is  no  record  or  knowledge  of  any  human  bones  or  oth(>r 
relics  having  been  found  in  them. 

In  regard  to  these  lowland  mounds,  Professor  Schmidt  has 
said:  "These  mounds  are  undoubtedly  of  the  kind  I  have  boon 
studying.  They  are  a  conundrum.  After  examining  so  many 
similar  mounds  in  many  different  places,  and  in  view  of  the  fact 
that  so  far  there  is  no  positive  evidence  at  hand  to  tell  us  how 
these  mounds  came  to  be,  it  is  perfectly  proper  to  ask :  How  are 
these  mounds  made?  Are  they  geological  features  of  the  coun- 
try? If  so,  let  the  geologist  explain  them.  Or  have  they  been 
formed  by  plants  or  animals?  If  so,  let  the  biologist  explain 
them.  If,  for  example,  animals  have  made  them,  either  by  their 
OAvn  efforts  or  by  the  help  of  natural  agencies,  then  it  may  be 
that  many  of  the  highland  knolls  which  are  now  counted  and 
mapped  as  Indian  mounds  may  prove  to  be  of  a  similar  origin. 

"A  prolonged  observation  of  these  mounds  in  the  various  lo- 
calities where  they  occur  seems  to  justify  this  conclusion  that  by 
far  the  greater  number,  if  not  all  of  them,  are  Indian  mounds. 
These  mounds  are  either  artificial  or  else  they  are  not  artificial. 
Either  view  has  its  difficulties  in  our  present  state  of  knowledge. 

"The  following  are  some  of  the  reasons  which  point  to  an 
artificial  origin:  The  mounds  are  invariably  sound  and  are 
made  of  the  same  kind  of  soil  as  occurs  on  the  land  on  which 
they  are  situated.  Some  people  call  them  gopher  hills,  or  ant- 
hills, or  remnants  of  haystacks,  or  swells  in  the  land  marking 
the  site  of  a  buried  boulder.  As  regards  the  view  that  the 
mounds  are  the  remains  of  haystacks,  we  may  say  that  haystacks 
leave  no  residual  soil  of  this  kind  when  hay  is  left  to  rot.  The 
mounds  are  often  located  where  hay  was  never  stacked,  for 
example,  in  woods.  On  one  tract  of  land  that  was  being  cleared 
of  its  timber  some  of  the  mounds  located  in  the  woods  had 
trees  growing  on  them.  Nor  do  haystacks  leave  remains  of  soil 
with  sand,  gravel  and  pebbles  in  them.  Nor  do  they  occur  in 
woods  with  old  trees  growing  on  them.  Some  of  the  mounds 
occur  in  places  where,  at  least  for  a  part  of  the  year,  it  is  very 
wet,  where  no  farmer  would  stack  hay,  nor  any  gopher  burrow, 
nor  ants  build  their  homes.  It  is  true  that  ants  are  to  be  found 
in  the  lowlands,  but  the  structures  reared  to  mark  the  sites  of 
their  nest  are  never  in  these  localities  more  than  a  fcAV  inches 
over  a  foot  in  height.  The  width  of  the  antliills  is  about  one 
foot,  and  the  flat  truncated  top  usually  slants  in  a  southerly 
direction,  facing  the  sun.  Very  likely  such  frail  structures 
would,  when  deserted,  disappear  in  a  short  time  under  the  at- 
tack of  the  elements.  In  no  instance  were  ants  found  living  in 
the  mounds. 

"That   p('0i>le   call  these   mounds    go])li('r   hills   is   easily   ex- 


plained  by  the  fact  that  gophers  occasionally  burrow  in  mounds. 
Immediately  the  inference  is  drawn  that  the  gophers  built  the 
whole  mound.  Closer  observation  shows  that  wherever  burrow- 
ing animals  are  found  inhabiting  mounds,  the  mound  loses  its 
smooth,  convex  outline  and  becomes  roughened  and  warty  in 
appearance  on  account  of  the  small  heaps  of  dirt  thrown  up  by 
the  animals.  Hence  Ave  may  readily  see  how,  in  the  lapse  of 
long  centuries,  some  of  the  mounds  may  have  been  inhabited  for 
a  time  by  gophers  and  made  rough  on  the  exterior.  This  would 
account  for  the  bossed  surface  that  some  mounds  have.  Mounds 
can  be  found  in  localities  so  Avet  that  it  is  doubtful  if  a  gopher 
ever  lived  there.  .Gophers  do  not  live  in  wet  places  any  more 
than  in  woods.  Again,  Ave  knoAV  that  gophers  abound  in  many 
places  Avhere  no  mounds  Avhatever  occur.  Why,  for  example, 
does  not  the  enormous  number  of  gopliers  in  other  counties 
build  mounds  on  the  high  prairies,  or  along  the  AAiiole  lengths 
of  riA^er  courses?  ^Vhy  do  they  not  build  intermediate  mounds 
as  Avell  as  mounds  twenty  to  forty  feet  across?  I  never  met  a 
man  who  knew  of  gophers  building  large  mounds. 

"These  considerations  seem  to  warrant  the  conclusion  that 
these  mounds  are  not  the  accumulations  of  rotted  grass,  nor  of 
gopher  and  ant  diggings.  Nor  does  there  seem  to  be  a  natural 
agency  to  Avhich  the  making  of  so  many  mounds,  so  regularly 
alike,  in  such  different  localities,  can  be  inferred.  If  it  be  sug- 
gested that  they  might  have  been  formed  by  upturned  roots 
of  trees  that  were  blown  over,  or  by  the  drift  material  of  SAVollen 
waters,  or  by  springs,  a  number  of  questions  can  be  raised  at 
once  to  throAV  great  imx^robability  on  such  an  origin  of  the 
mounds.  While  Ave  may  conceive  of  some  mounds  having  been 
formed  in  this  Avay  in  certain  places,  none  of  the  suggested 
modes,  nor  a  combination  of  them,  will  explain  the  mounds  in 
these  places.  Why  should  not  these  agencies  have  formed 
mounds  in  vastly  larger  areas  Avhere  we  know  there  are  springs, 
where  winds  overturn  trees,  Avhere  flooded  streams  form  A^ery 
numerous  drift  accumulations  but  not  mounds?  Nor  are  these 
mounds  small  dunes  bloAvn  up  by  the  Avind.  The  character  of 
the  land  is  such  as  to  preclude  all  possibility  of  their  formation 
by  the  wind.  Much  of  the  ground  is  too  wet  to  permit  the 
drifting  of  soil ;  some  of  the  pebbles  and  rocks  found  in  the 
mounds  would  require  a  terrific  Avind  to  transport  them.  Again, 
dunes  built  by  the  Avind  are  not  uniformly  circular.  Rather  they 
are  oblong,  Avith  the  highest  elevation  not  in  the  middle  but 
tOAvards  one  end.  It  Avere  odd  indeed  that  the  Avind  should  build 
such  dunes  in  low  places,  or  in  Avoods,  or  in  groups,  or  string 
them  along  creeks  and  not  build  them  in  places  that  are  ap- 
parently  much   better   adapted   to   Avind-Avork.      There   are   also 


other  considerations  which  give  color  to  the  conclusion  that  the 
mounds  were  built  by  man,  and  that  by  the  Indians.  The  shape 
of  all  the  mounds  is  that  of  the  ordinary  round  mound.  In  size 
they  vary  from  fifteen  to  thirty  feet  across  the  top.  Few  exceed 
thirty  feet.  One  mound  measured  fifteen  paces,  or  about  forty- 
five  feet  across.  In  general,  the  height  varies  from  one-half  to 
two  and  one-half  feet.  A  number  exceed  this  and  may  form 
very  conspicuous  objects  on  the  meadow  where  the  grass  is  burned 
away.  A  number  of  mounds  have  circular  depressions  around 
them  as  if  dirt  had  been  removed  thence.  After  a  thaw,  water 
may  stand  in  the  ring  and  make  it  very  noticeable. 

"At  first  it  seemed  to  me  very  probable  that  the  mounds 
served  as  tenting  places.  The  diameter  and  circumference  of  the 
mounds  would  suggest  this,  but  the  seeming  absence  of  the  action 
of  does  not  support  this  view  unless  the  Indians  camping 
there  did  not  build  fires.  In  other  respects  there  is  no  reason 
why  Indians  might  not  have  camped  there,  as  there  was  plenty 
of  water,  and  an  abundance  of  game.  In  ancient  times,  the 
region  of  these  mounds  between  Grand  Meadow  and  Le  Roy  was, 
doubtless,  a  great  marsh,  and  possibly  even  a  marshy  lake,  drained 
by  what  are  now  tributaries  of  the  Root  river,  a  probable  traffic 
way  for  the  savages  from  the  IMississippi  river. 

"There  is  no  reason  to  doubt  that  fancy,  or  some  definite  cause, 
such  as  the  capture  of  game,  brought  Indians  to  all  parts  of  this 
country;  hence  it  is  not  at  all  unlikely  that  pre-historie  Indians 
did  the  same  thing.  Our  inability  to  find  a  conclusive  reason  at 
present  why  Indians  should  camp  or  build  mounds  in  these  places 
is  no  proof  that  the  mounds  are  not  of  Indian  origin.  Should 
closer  study  prove  the  mounds  to  be  burial  places,  then  they  are 
witnesses  both  of  the  large  number  of  Indians  biiried  there,  as 
well  as  of  the  much  larger  number  of  population  which  was 
not  honored  with  a  monument  of  earth. 

"If  it  is  true  that  these  mounds  are  the  products  of  human 
activity  in  prehistoric  times,  then  they  present  us  Avith  a  new 
and  unexpected  phase  in  the  mound  builders  choice  of  location  for 
mounds.  To  a  person  accustomed  to  seeing  large  effigy  mounds 
in  Wisconsin,  or  other  larger  mounds  along  the  Mississippi,  it 
would  naturally  be  a  puzzle  to  find  mounds  in  a  location  where 
his  former  experience  would  not  have  prompted  him  to  look  for 
mounds.  The  unexpected  may  also  turn  up  in  the  experience  of 
the  mound-hunter,  and  there  is  nothing  unreasonable  in  thinking 
that  these  mounds  are  another  link  in  the  chain  of  Minnesota 
archeology,  throwing  light  on  the  life  of  the  prehistoric  builders. 
It  merely  shows  that  Indians  built  mounds  also  in  other  places 
than  on  high  terraces  and  shores. 

"But  should  further  study  ever  show  that  these  mounds  are 


not  the  work  of  wandering  savages,  then  they  ought  to  be  ac- 
corded a  place  in  that  science  whose  province  it  will  be  to  ex- 
plain them.  So  far  I  have  utterly  failed  to  find  any  adequate 
cause  or  principle  mentioned  in  geology,  biology  or  physiog- 
raphy, which  will  explain  all  of  these  in  all  places.  If  these 
mounds  were  not  built  by  Indians,  then  it  may  be  that  in  any 
other  mounds  now  reckoned  as  Indians'  mounds  may  also  be 
explained  by  the  action  of  some  other  agency." 

The  first  actual  residents  of  this  vicinity,  whose  occupation 
of  the  region  has  been  conclusively  demonstrated,  were  the  High- 
land Mound  Builders.  Many  relics,  such  as  arrow  heads  and  the 
like,  have  been  found  along  the  Cedar  river.  No  scientific  inves- 
tigation has  been  made  of  Highland  mounds  in  Mower  county, 
but  studies  that  have  been  made  of  these  mounds  to  the  north 
and  east,  inside  of  a  radius  of  100  miles,  would  seemingly  form 
the  premises  of  a  fairly  safe  conclusion,  that  the  Highland  mound 
building  race  ranged  the  prairies  of  Mower  county.  Scholars 
at  one  time  held  to  the  belief  that  the  Highland  ]\Iound  Builders 
were  a  distinct  race  of  a  now  exterminated  people,  much  superior 
to  the  Indians  in  intelligence  and  habits  and  related  closely, 
indeed,  in  civilization  to  the  highly  cultured  Aztecs  of  Mexico. 
Present  day  scholars,  however,  are  of  the  belief  that  the  High- 
land Mound  Builders,  of  North  America,  were  the  ancestors  of 
the  Indians  found  here  by  the  early  explorers,  and  dift'ering  from 
them  in  no  important  characteristic  of  intelligence,  habits,  morals 
or  education.  The  Highland  Mound  Builders  of  this  immediate 
vicinity  were,  doubtless,  the  ancestors  of  the  Sioux  and  the  Iowa 
Indians,  it  being  well  known  that  these  two  races  were  branches 
of  the  same  great  family. 

None  of  the  early  explorers  mention  any  permanent  Indian 
villages  within  the  present  limits  of  Mower  county,  and,  although 
the  Sioux  Indians  claimed  this  stretch  of  land,  this  prairie  was 
doubtless  crossed  from  time  immemorial,  by  bands  of  the  Sioux, 
lowas.  Sacs  and  Foxes. 

The  vague  traditions  of  the  Sioux  having  been  driven  out 
of  "Wisconsin  by  the  Chippewas,  their  settlement  about  Mille 
Lacs,  and  their  gradual  distribution  along  the  Avest  banks  of  the 
upper  Mississippi,  as  well  as  their  alleged  conquest  of  the  lowas, 
who,  according  to  tradition,  formerly  occupied  the  latter  locality, 
is  beyond  the  scope  of  this  work.  The  words  Dakota  and  Sioiix, 
though  exactly  opposite  in  meaning,  are  applied  to  the  same  race 
of  Indians.  Dakota  (variously  spelled)  is  the  name  applied  by 
the  race  themselves,  and  means  friendly  or  joined  together  in 
friendly  compact,  the  Sioux  nation  being  a  confederation  of 
tribes.  The  word  Sioux  comes  from  the  word  Nadowayscioux, 
applied  by  the  Chippewas  and  meaning  enemies.     The  diaries  of 


the  early  hunters  along  the  west  bank  of  the  Mississippi,  lead  us 
to  believe  that  the  vicinity  embraced  in  Mower  county  was 
familiar  to  all  the  Sioux  Indians  living  along  that  river,  and  that 
annual  hunting  parties  visited  this  region.  Many  sanguinary 
wars  were  also  fought  here,  for  the  Sacs  and  the  Foxes  were  not 
far  away,  and  even  the  Chippewas  occasionally  braved  the  wrath 
of  their  enemies  and  came  here  after  game. 

With  the  coming  of  the  white  settlers,  the  Sioux  Indians 
became  rather  plentiful  in  Mower  county,  although  at  that  time 
the  treaties  which  relinc[uished  the  Indian  rights  of  title  had 
already  been  signed. 


Visit  to  Washington — Boundary  Lines  Between  Indian  Tribes 
Defined — Territory  Now  Mower  County  Included  in  the 
Sioux  Jurisdiction — Second  Treaty  of  Prairie  Du  Chien — 
Some  of  Wabasha's  Men  Killed  by  the  Foxes  South  of  Aus- 
tin in  Iowa — Strip  of  Territory  South  of  Mower  County 
Ceded  by  Treaty— The  Doty  Treaty  and  Its  Failure— Treaty 
of  Traverse  Des  Sioux — Treaty  of  Mendota,  by  Which  Mower 
County  was  Opened  to  Settlement. 

From  prehistoric  days  up  to  the  time  of  the  treaty  signed  at 
Mendota,  August  5,  1851,  ratified  and  amended  by  the  United 
States  senate,  June  23,  1852;  accepted  with  amendments  by  the 
Indians,  September  4  and  6,  1852,  and  proclaimed  by  President 
Fillmore,  February  24,  1853,  the  territory  embraced  in  Mower 
county  remained  in  the  undisputed  possession  of  the  Indians, 
being  used  as  a  hunting  ground  by  the  Sioux  Indians,  but  also 
being  visited  by  other  Redmen.  Before  this  treaty,  however,  sev- 
eral agreements  were  made  between  the  Indians  of  this  vicinity 
and  the  United  States  government,  regarding  mutual  relations 
and  the  ceding  of  lands. 

Visit  to  Washington.  In  the  spring  of  1824  the  first  delega- 
tion of  Sioux  Indians  went  to  Washington  to  see  their  "Great 
Father,"  the  president.  A  delegation  of  ChippcAvas  accompanied, 
and  both  were  in  charge  of  Major  Taliaferro.  Wabasha,  then 
properly  called  Wa-pa-ha-sha,  the  head  chief  of  the  band  at 
Winona ;  and  Little  Crow,  head  of  the  Kaposia  band ;  and  Wah- 
natah,  were  the  principal  memliers  of  the  Sioux  delegation.     The 


object  of  the  visit  was  to  secure  a  convocation  of  all  of  the  upper 
Mississippi  Indians  at  Prairie  du  Chien  to  define  the  boundary 
line  of  the  lands  claimed  by  the  separate  tribes  and  to  establish 
general  and  permanent  friendly  relations  among  them.  The  party 
went  in  keel  boats  from  Fort  Snelling  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  and 
from  there  to  Pittsburg  by  steamboat,  thence  to  Washington  and 
other  eastern  cities  by  land. 

Prairie  du  Chien  Treaty  of  1825.  The  treaty  of  Prairie  du 
Chien,  signed  in  1825,  was  important  to  the  Indians  of  this  vicin- 
ity, in  that  it  fixed  certain  boundaries.  The  eastern  boundary 
of  the  Sioux  territory  was  to  commence  on  the  east  bank  of 
the  ^Mississippi,  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  "loway"  (now  the 
upper  Iowa)  river,  running  back  to  the  bluffs,  and  along  the  bluffs 
to  the  Bad  Ax  river;  thence  to  the  mouth  of  Black  river,  and 
thence  to  "half  a  day's  march"  below  the  falls  of  the  Chippewa. 
The  boundary  lines  were  certainly,  in  some  respects,  quite  indefi- 
nite, and  Avhether  this  was  the  trouble  or  not,  at  any  event,  it  was 
but  a  few  months  after  the  treaty  when  it  was  evident  that  neither 
the  Dakotas  (Sioux)  nor  Ojibways  were  willing  to  be  governed 
by  the  lines  established — and  hardly  by  any  others.  The  first 
article  of  the  treatj^  provided:  "There  shall  be  a  firm  and  per- 
petual peace  between  the  Sioux  and  the  Chippewas;  between  the 
Sioux  and  the  confederated  tribes  of  Sacs  and  Foxes ;  and  between 
the  'loways'  and  the  Sioux."  But  this  provision  was  more 
honored  in  the  breach  than  the  observance,  and  in  a  little  time 
the  tribes  named  were  flying  at  one  another's  throats  and  engaged 
in  their  old-time  hostilities.  On  the  part  of  the  Sioux  this  treat}'' 
was  signed  by  Chiefs  AA-'abasha,  Little  Crow,  Standing  Buffalo, 
Sleepy  Eye,  Two  Faces,  Tah-sah-gliee,  or  "His  Cane";  Black 
Dog,  Wah-ah-na-tah,  or  "The  Charger";  Red  Wing,  Shakopee, 
Penishon  and  Eagle  Head,  and  also  by  a  number  of  head  soldiers 
and  "principal  men."  The  Chippewa  signers  were  Shingauba 
Wassa,  Gitche  Gaubow,  Wis  Coup,  or  "Sugar,"  and  a  number 
of  sub-chiefs  and  principal  men. 

Second  Treaty  of  Prairie  du  Chien.  In  1830,  the  second  treaty 
Avith  the  northwest  Indian  tribes  was  signed  at  Prairie  du  Chien. 
A  few  Aveeks  previous  to  the  convocation,  Avhich  Avas  begun  July 
15,  a  party  of  AVabasha's  band  of  Sioux,  and  some  Menomiuees, 
ambushed  a  party  of  Fox  Indians  some  tAvelve  or  fifteen  miles 
beloAV  Prairie  du  Chien  and  killed  eight  of  them,  including  a 
sub-chief  called  the  Kettle. 

The  Foxes  had  their  village  near  Dubuque,  and  Avere  on  their 
Avay  to  Prairie  du  Chien  to  visit  the  Indian  agent,  Avhom  they  had 
apprised  of  their  coming.  They  were  in  canoes  on  the  Missis- 
sippi, and  as  they  reached  the  loAver  end  of  Prairie  du  Pierreaux, 
tliey  paddled  up  a  narroAV  channel  Avhich  ran  near  the  eastern 


shore.  At  this  point  their  concealed  enemies  opened  fire.  The 
Foxes  returned  to  their  village,  bearing  their  dead,  while  the 
Sioux  and  Menominees  went  home  and  danced  over  their  victory. 
A  few  weeks  previous  the  Foxes  had  killed  some  of  Wabasha's 
band  on  the  Red  Cedar  river  in  Iowa,  a  few  miles  south  of  Austin, 
and  the  Sioux  claimed  that  their  part  in  the  Prairie  du  Pierreaux 
was  taken  in  retalliation  for  the  Red  Cedar  affair.  In  June  of 
the  following  year,  a  large  number  of  Menominees  were  camped 
on  an  island  in  the  Mississippi,  less  than  half  a  mile  from  Fort 
Crawford  and  Prairie  du  Chien.  One  night  they  were  all  intox- 
icated— men,  women  and  children — when  two  hours  before  day- 
light the  Dubuque  Foxes  took  dreadful  reprisal  for  the  killing  of 
their  brethren  at  Prairie  du  Pierreaux.  Though  but  a  small  band, 
they  crept  into  the  Menominee  encampment,  fell  upon  the  in- 
mates, and  in  a  few  minutes  put  numbers  of  them  to  the  gun, 
tomahawk  and  the  scalping  knife.  Thirty  Menominees  were 
killed.  "When  the  entire  Menominee  band  had  been  aroused,  the 
Foxes,  without  having  lost  a  man,  retired,  calling  out  in  great 
exaltation  that  the  cowardly  killing  of  their  comrades  at  Prairie 
du  Pierreaux  had  been  revenged. 

Because  of  the  Prairie  du  Pierreaux  affair,  the  Foxes  at  first 
refused  to  be  present  at  the  second  treaty  of  Prairie  du  Chien,  but 
finally  came. 

Delegates  were  present  from  four  bands  of  the  Sioux,  the 
MedaAvakantons,  the  Wapakootas,  the  Wahpatons  and  the  Sisse- 
tons,  and  also  from  the  Sacs,  the  Foxes  and  lowas,  and  even  from 
the  Omahas,  Otoes  and  Missouris,  the  homes  of  the  last  three 
tribes  being  on  the  Missouri  river.  At  this  treaty  the  Indian 
tribes  represented  ceded  all  of  their  claims  to  the  land  in  western 
Iowa,  northwestern  Missouri,  and  especially  the  country  of  the 
Des  Moines  river  valley.  The  lower  bands  had  a  special  article 
inserted  in  the  treaty  for  the  benefit  of  their  half-blood  relatives: 

"The  Sioux  bands  in  council  have  earnestly  solicited  that  they 
might  have  permission  to  bestow  upon  the  half-breeds  of  their 
nation  the  tract  of  land  within  the  following  limits,  to-wit :  Be- 
ginning at  a  place  called  the  Barn,  below  and  near  the  village  of 
the  Red  Wing  chief,  and  running  back  fifteen  miles ;  thence,  in  a 
parallel  line,  with  Lake  Pepin  and  the  Mississippi  river  about 
thirty-two  miles,  to  a  point  opposite  Beef,  or  O'Boeuf,  river, 
thence  fifteen  miles  to  the  Grand  Encampment,  opposite  the  river 
aforesaid,  the  United  States  agree  to  suft'er  said  half-breeds  to 
occupy  said  tract  of  country,  they  holding  the  same  title,  and  in 
the  same  manner  that  other  Indian  titles  are  held." 

Certificates,  or  "scrip"  were  issued  to  many  half-breeds,  and 
there  was  much  speculation  in  them,  and  litigation  over  them, 
in  subsequent  years,  a  matter  of  whicli  will  Ix'  treated  later  in 


this  history.  The  Sioux  also  ceded  a  tract  of  land  twenty  miles 
wide  along  the  northern  boundary  of  Iowa  from  the  Mississippi 
to  the  Des  J\Ioines,  the  consideration  for  Avhieh  was  $2,000  in 
cash  and  $12,000  in  merchandise.  Thus  it  will  be  seen  that  as 
early  as  1830  the  Indians  relinquished  their  title  to  the  land  just 
south  of  Mower  county.  The  strip  in  question  was  for  many 
years  known  as  the  "Neutral  Land." 

The  Doty  Treaty.  The  Doty  treaty,  made  at  Traverse  des 
Sioux,  in  July,  1841,  failed  to  be  ratified  by  the  United  States 
senate.  This  treaty  embodied  a  Utopian  dream  that  a  territory 
of  Indians  could  be  established,  in  which  the  Redmen  would 
reside  on  farms  and  in  villages,  living  their  lives  after  the  style 
of  the  whites,  having  a  constitutional  form  of  government,  Avith 
a  legislature  of  their  own  people  elected  by  themselves,  the  gov- 
'^rnor  to  be  appointed  by  the  president  of  the  United  States,  much 
nlong  the  plan  still  followed  with  the  Cherokees  in  the  Indian  ter- 
ritory, except  that  it  embodied  for  the  Indians  a  much  higher 
type  of  citizenship  than  is  found  in  the  Indian  territory.  The 
Indians  were  to  be  taught  the  arts  of  peace,  to  be  paid  annuities, 
Eind  to  be  protected  by  the  armies  of  the  United  States  from  their 
Indian  enemies  on  the  west.  In  return  for  these  benefits  to  be  con- 
ferred upon  the  Indians,  the  United  States  was  to  receive  all  the 
lands  in  what  is  now  Minnesota,  the  Dakotas  and  northwestern 
Towa,  except  small  portions,'  which  were  to  be  reserved  for  the 
Redmen.  This  ceded  land  Avas  not  to  be  opened  to  the  settlement 
i>f  the  whites,  and  the  plan  was  to  have  some  of  it  reserved  for 
Indian  tribes  from  other  parts  of  the  country  who  should  sell 
their  lands  to  the  United  States,  and  who,  in  being  moved  here, 
>vere  to  enjoy  all  the  privileges  Avhich  had  been  so  beautifully 
planned  for  the  native  Indians.  B^^t  no  one  can  tell  what  Avould 
have  been  the  result  of  this  experiment,  for  the  senate,  for  politi- 
cal reasons,  refused  to  ratify  the  treaty,  and  it  failed  of  going 
into  effect.  This  treaty  was  signed  by  the  Sisseton,  Wahpaton 
nnd  AYahpakoota  bands  at  Traverse  des  Sioux,  July  31,  1841, 
and  by  the  Medawakanton  bands  at  Mendota,  August  11  of  the 
^'iame  year. 

Treaty  of  Traverse  des  Sioux.  In  the  spring  of  1851  Presi- 
dent Fillmore  appointed  Governor  Alexander  Ramsey  and  Luke 
Lea  as  commissioners  to  open  negotiations  Avith  the  Indians  for  the 
purpose  of  opening  to  settlement  Avhat  is  now  the  greater  part  of 
Minnesota.  The  conference  Avas  held  at  Traverse  des  Sioux,  be- 
tween the  chiefs  and  head  men  of  the  Sisseton  and  Wahpaton,  or 
Upper  Bands,  as  they  were  called,  and  the  tAvo  commissioners. 
The  Indians  were  accompanied  by  their  families  and  many  prom- 
inent pioneers  were  also  present.  The  meeting  Avas  held  under  a 
brush  arbor  erected  by  Alexis  Bailly,  and  one  of  the  incidents 


of  the  proceedings  was  the  marriage  of  two  mixed  blood  people, 
David  Faribault  and  Nancy  "Winona  McClure,  the  former  the  son 
of  Jean  Baptist  Faribault  and  the  latter  of  Lieut.  James  McClure. 
The  treaty  Avas  signed  July  22,  1851,  and  provided  that  the  upper 
bands  should  cede  to  the  United  States  all  their  land  in  Iowa  as 
well  as  their  lands  east  of  a  line  from  the  Red  river  to  Lake 
Traverse  and  thence  to  the  northwestern  corner  of  Iowa. 

Treaty  of  Mendota.  From  July  29,  1851,  to  August  5,  Men- 
dota  was  the  scene  of  the  conference  which  opened  Slower,  Steele 
and  surrounding  counties  to  white  settlement.  The  chiefs  and 
head  men  of  the  lower  bands  were  thoroughly  familiar  with  the 
proceedings  of  the  Indians  and  the  representatives  of  the  United 
States  at  Traverse  des  Sioux  and  all  were  on  hand  that  bright 
August  day,  waiting  for  the  negotiations  to  open  at  Mendota. 
The  first  session  was  held  in  the  warehouse  of  the  Fur  Company 
at  that  place,  but  the  Indians  found  the  atmosphere  stifling,  and 
not  in  accord  with  their  usual  method  of  outdoor  councils,  so  the 
consideration  of  the  treaty  was  taken  up  under  a  large  brush 
arbor,  erected  by  Alexis  Bailly,  on  an  elevated  plain  near  the  high 
prominence  known  as  Pilot  Knob.  Dr.  Thomas  Foster  Avas  secre- 
tary for  Commissioners  Lea  and  Ramsey;  the  interpreters  were 
Alexander  Faribault,  Philander  Preseott  and  Rev.  G.  H.  Pond; 
the  white  witnesses  were  David  Olmsted,  W.  C.  Henderson,  Alexis 
Bailly,  Richard  Chute,  Henry  Jackson,  A.  L.  Carpenter,  W.  H. 
Randall,  A.  S.  H.  White,  H.  L.  Dousman,  Fred  C.  Sibley,  Martin 
McLeod,  George  N.  Faribault  and  Joseph  A.  "Wheelock.  After 
much  deliberation  and  many  disagreements,  the  treaty  was  signed 
August  5,  1851.  Little  Crow  was  the  first  signer.  To  the  treaty 
Little  Crow  signed  his  original  name,  Tah  0-ya-te  Doota,  meaning 
His  Red  Nation.  "Wabasha  Avas  the  next  to  sign,  making  his  mark. 
Then  the  other  chiefs,  head  soldiers  and  principal  Avarriors 
croAvded  around  to  affix  their  marks.  In  all,  there  Avere  sixty-five 
Indian  signatures. 

At  Mendota,  as  at  Traverse  des  Sioux,  Avhen  the  treaty  Avas 
concluded,  each  Indian  signer  stepped  to  another  table  Avhere 
lay  another  paper  Avhich  he  signed.  This  Avas  called  the  tradei'fe' 
paper,  and  Avas  an  agreement  to  pa.y  the  "just  debts,"  so  called, 
of  the  Indians,  including  those  present  and  absent,  alive  and 
dead,  OAA-ing  to  the  traders  and  the  trading  company.  Some  of 
the  accounts  Avere  nearly  thirty  years  old,  and  the  Indians  avIio 
had  contracted  them  Avere  dead;  but  the  bands  Avillingly  assumed 
the  indebtedness  and  agreed  that  it  might  be  discharged  out  of 
the  first  money  paid  them.  The  territory  ceded  by  the  two 
treaties  Avas  declared  to  be:  "All  their  lands  in  the  state  of 
Iowa,  and  also  all  their  lands  in  the  territory  of  ^Minnesota  lying 
east  of  the  folloAving  line,  to-Avit :     Beginning  at  the  junction  of 


Buffalo  river  with  the  Red  River  of  the  North  (about  twelve 
miles  north  of  Morehead,  at  Georgetown  station,  in  Clay  county), 
thence  along  the  western  bank  of  said  Red  River  of  the  North, 
to  the  mouth  of  the  Sioux  "Wood  river ;  thence  along  the  western 
bank  of  said  Sioux  AVood  river  to  Lake  Traverse;  thence  along 
the  western  shore  of  said  lake  to  the  southern  extremity  thereof ; 
thence,  in  a  direct  line,  to  the  juncture  of  Kampeska  lake  with  the 
Tehan-Ka-Sna-Duka,  or  Sioux  river;  thence  along  the  western 
bank  of  said  river  to  its  point  of  intersection  with  the  northern 
line  of  the  state  of  Iowa,  including  all  islands  in  said  rivers 
and  lakes." 

The  lower  bands  were  to  receive  $1,410,000,  to  be  paid  in  the 
mamaer  and  form  following:  For  settling  debts  and  removing 
themselves  to  the  new  reservation,  $220,000,  one-half  to  the  ]Meda- 
wakanton  bands,  and  one-half  to  the  single  AVahpakoota  band ;  for 
schools,  mills  and  opening  farms,  $30,000.  Of  the  principal  of 
$1,410,000,  the  sum  of  $30,000  in  cash  was  to  be  distributed 
among  the  two  bands  as  soon  as  the  treaty  was  ratified,  and 
$28,000  was  to  be  expended  annually,  under  the  president 's  direc- 
tion, as  follows:  To  a  civilization  fund,  $12,000;  to  an  educa- 
tional fund,  $6,000;  for  goods  and  provisions,  $10,000.  The 
balance  of  the  principal,  or  $1,160,000,  was  to  remain  in  trust 
rtdth  the  United  States  at  5  per  cent  interest,  to  be  paid  annually 
to  the  Indians  for  fifty  years,  commencing  July  1,  1852.  The  $58,- 
000  annuity  interest  was  to  be  expended  as  the  first  installment — 
$30,000  in  cash,  $12,000  for  civilization,  $6,000  for  education,  and 
$10,000  for  goods  and  provisions.  The  back  annuities  under  the 
treaty  of  1837  remaining  unexpired  were  also  to  be  paid  an- 
nually. Their  reservation  was  to  extend  from  the  mouth  of  the 
Yellow  Medicine  and  Hawk  creek  southeasterly  to  the  mouth 
of  Rock  creek,  a  tract  twenty  miles  wide  and  about  forty-five 
miles  in  length.  The  half-breeds  of  the  Sioux  were  to  receive 
in  cash  $150,000  in  lieu  of  lands  allowed  them  under  the  Prairie 
du  Chien  treaty  of  1830,  but  which  they  had  failed  to  claim. 

The  written  copies  of  the  Traverse  des  Sioux  and  the  Alendotu 
ti'eaties,  duly  signed  and  attested,  were  forwarded  to  "Washington 
to  be  acted  upon  by  the  senate  at  the  ensuing  session  of  congress. 
An  lanreasonably  long  delay  resulted.  Final  action  was  not  had 
until  the  follo^^'ing  summer,  when,  on  July  23,  the  senate  ratified 
both  treaties  Avith  important  amendments.  The  provisions  for  les- 
.jrvations  for  both  the  upper  and  lower  bands  were  stricken  out, 
and  substitutes  adopted,  agreeing  to  pay  ten  cents  an  acre  for 
ooth  reservations,  and  authorizing  the  president,  with  the  assent 
of  the  Indians,  to  cause  to  be  set  apart  other  reservations,  wliieh 
were  to  be  within  the  limits  of  the  original  great  cession.  The 
provision  to  pay  $150,000  to  the  half-bloods  of  the  lower  bands 


was  also  stricken  out.  The  treaties,  with  the  changes,  came  back 
to  the  Indians  for  final  ratification  and  agreement  to  the  altera- 
tions. The  chiefs  of  the  lower  bands  at  first  objected  very  stren- 
uously, but  finally,  on  Saturday,  September  4,  1852,  at  Governor 
Eamsey's  residence  in  St.  Paul,  they  signed  the  amended  articles, 
and  the  following  Monday  the  chiefs  and  head  men  of  the  upper 
bands  affixed  their  marks.  As  amended,  the  treaties  were  pro- 
claimed by  President  Fillmore  February  24,  1853.  The  Indians 
were  allowed  to  remain  in  their  old  villages,  or,  if  they  preferred, 
to  occupy  their  reservations  as  originally  designated,  until  the 
president  selected  their  new  homes.  That  selection  was  never 
made,  and  the  original  reservations  were  finally  allowed  them. 
The  removal  of  the  lower  Indians  to  their  designated  reservation 
began  in  1853,  but  was  intermittent,  interrupted  and  extended 
over  a  period  of  several  years.  The  Indians  went  up  in  detach- 
ments, as  they  felt  inclined.  After  living  on  the  reservation  for 
a  time,  some  of  them  returned  to  their  old  hunting  grounds, 
where  they  lived  continuously  for  some  time,  visiting  their  reser- 
vation and  agency  only  at  the  time  of  -the  payment  of  their  an- 
nuities. Finally,  by  the  offer  of  cabins  to  live  in,  or  other  sub- 
stantial inducements,  nearly  all  of  them  were  induced  to  settle 
on  the  Redwood  Reserve,  so  that  in  1862,  at  the  time  of  the  out- 
break, less  than  twenty  families  of  the  Medawakantons  and  Wah- 
pakootas  were  living  off  their  reservation.  With  the  subsequent 
history  of  these  Indians  this  volume  wnll  not  deal  in  detail ;  the 
purpose  of  treating  with  the  Indians  thus  far  in  this  chapter 
having  been  to  show  the  various  negotiations  by  which  I\Iower 
county  and  the  surrounding  territory  came  into  the  possession  of 
the  whites  and  was  thus  opened  for  settlement  and  development. 



Early  Claims  of  Title — Spain,  France  and  England — Treaties  and 
Agreements — The  Louisiana  Purchase — Indiana — Louisiana 
District — Louisiana  Territory — Missouri  Territory — North- 
west Territory — Illinois  Territory — Michigan  Territory — Wis- 
consin Territory — Iowa  Territory — No  Man's  Land — Sibley 
in  Congress — Minnesota  Territory — Minnesota  State — Com- 
piled from  Manuscripts  of  Hon.  F.  M.  Crosby. 

The  liistory  of  the  early  government  of  what  is  now  southern 
Minnesota,  is  formulated  with  some  difficulty,  as,  prior  to  the  nine- 
teenth centurv,  the  interior  of  the  county  was  so  little  known. 


and  the  maps  upon  which  claims  and  grants  were  founded  were 
so  meagre,  as  well  as  incorrect  and  unreliable,  that  descriptions 
of  boundaries  and  locations  as  given  in  the  early  treaties  are 
vague  in  the  extreme,  and  very  difficult  of  identification  with 
present  day  lines  and  locations. 

The  Hon.  J.  V.  Brower,  a  scholarly  authority  upon  this  sub- 
ject, says — ("The  Mississippi  Eiver  and  Its  Sources"):  "Spain, 
by  virtue  of  the  discoveries  of  Columbus  and  others,  confirmed  to 
her  by  papal  grant  (that  of  Alexander  VI,  May  4,  1493),  may 
be  said  to  have  been  the  first  European  oAvner  of  the  entire  valley 
of  the  Mississippi,  but  she  never  used  this  claim  as  a  ground  for 
taking  formal  possession  of  this  part  of  her  domains  other  than  in- 
cidentally involved  in  De  Soto's  doings.  The  feeble  objections 
which  she  made  in  the  next  two  centuries  after  the  discovery,  to 
other  nations  exploring  and  settling  North  America,  were  success- 
fully overcome  by  the  force  of  accomplished  facts.  The  name  of 
Florida,  now  so  limited  in  its  application,  was  first  applied  by  the 
Spaniards  to  the  greater  part  of  the  eastern  half  of  North  Amer- 
ica, commencing  at  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  and  proceeding  northward 
indefinitely.  This  expansiveness  of  geographical  view  was  par- 
alleled later  by  the  definition  of  a  New  France  of  still  greater 
extent,  Avhich  practically  included  all  the  continent. 

"L'Escarbot,  in  his  history  of  New  France,  written  in  1617, 
says,  in  reference  to  this:  'Thus  our  Canada  has  for  its  limits  on 
the  Avest  side  all  the  lands  as  far  as  the  sea  called  the  Pacific,  on 
this  side  of  the  Tropic  of  Cancer;  on  the  south  the  islands  of  the 
Atlantic  sea  in  the  direction  of  Cuba  and  the  Spanish  land;  on 
the  east  the  northern  sea  Avhich  bathes  Ncav  France ;  and  on  the 
north  the  land  said  to  be  unknoAvn,  toward  the  icy  sea  as  far  as 
the  arctic  pole.' 

' '  Judging  also  by  the  A'arious  grants  to  individuals,  noble  and 
otherAvise,  and  'companies,'  AAdiich  gave  away  the  country  in  lati- 
tudinal strips  extending  from  the  Atlantic  Avestward,  the  English 
were  not  far  behind  the  Spaniards  and  French  in  this  kind  of 
effrontery.  As  English  colonists  never  settled  on  the  Mississippi 
in  pursuance  of  such  grants,  and  never  performed  any  acts  of 
authority  there,  such  shadoAA^y  sovereignties  may  be  disregarded 
here,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  it  Avas  considered  necessary,  many 
years  later,  for  A-arious  states  concerned  to  conA-ey  to  the  United 
States  their  rights  to  territory  Avhich  they  never  actually  ruled 

"Thus,  in  the  most  arbitrary  manner,  did  the  Mississippi  river, 
though  yet  unknoAvn,  become  the  property,  successively,  of  the 
Iberian,  Gaulish  and  Anglo-Saxon  races — of  three  peoples  who, 
in  later  times,  by  diplomacy  and  force  of  arms,  struggled  for  an 
actual  occupancy.     Practically,  hoAvever,   the  upper  Mississippi 


valley  may  be  considered  as  having  been  in  the  first  place 
Canadian  soil,  for  it  was  Frenchmen  from  Canada  who  first  vis- 
ited it  and  traded  with  its  various  native  inhabitants.  The  further 
prosecution  of  his  discoveries  by  La  Salle,  in  1682,  extended 
Canada  as  a  French  possession  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico,  though  he 
did  not  use  the  name  of  Canada  nor  yet  that  of  New  France. 
He  preferred  to  call  the  entire  country  watered  by  the  Missis- 
sippi river  and  its  tributaries,  from  its  uttermost  source  to  its 
mouth,  by  the  new  name  he  had  already  invented  for  the  pur- 
pose— Louisiana.  The  name  of  Canada  and  New  France  had 
been  indifferently  used  to  express  about  the  same  extent  of 
territory,  but  the  name  of  Louisiana  now  came  to  supersede 
them  in  being  applied  to  the  conjectural  regions  of  the  West. 
Although  La  Salle  has  applied  the  latter  expression  to  the  entire 
valley  of  the  Mississippi,  it  was  not  generally  used  in  that  sense 
after  his  time,  the  upper  part  of  the  region  was  called  Canada, 
and  the  lower  Louisiana;  but  the  actual  dividing  line  between 
the  two  provinces  was  not  absolutely  established,  and  their 
names  and  boundaries  were  variously  indicated  on  published 
maps.  Speaking  generally,  the  Canada  of  the  eighteenth  century 
included  the  Great  Lakes  and  the  country  drained  by  their  tribu- 
taries; the  northern  one-fourth  of  the  present  state  of  Illinois, 
that  is,  as  much  as  lies  north  of  the  mouth  of  the  Rock  river ;  all 
the  regions  lying  north  of  the  northern  Avatershed  of  the  Mis- 
souri, and  finally  the  valley  of  the  upper  Missouri  itself."  This 
would  include  Mower  county. 

But  it  is  now  necessary  to  go  back  two  centuries  previous 
and  consider  the  various  explorations  of  the  Mississippi  upon 
which  were  based  the  claims  of  the  European  monarchs.  Pos- 
sibly the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi  had  been  reached  by  Span- 
iards previous  to  1541,  possibly  Hibernian  missionaries  as  early 
as  the  middle  of  the  sixth  century,  or  Welch  emigrants  (Madoc), 
about  1170,  discovered  North  America  by  way  of  the  Gulf  of 
Mexico,  but  historians  give  to  Hernando  de  Soto  and  his  band 
of  adventurers  the  credit  of  having  been  the  first  white  men  to 
actually  view  the  Mississippi  on  its  course  through  the  interior 
of  the  continent  and  of  being  the  first  ones  to  actually  traverse 
its  waters.  De  Soto  sighted  the  Mississippi  in  ]\Iay,  15-11,  at  the 
head  of  an  expedition  in  search  of  gold  and  precious  stones.  In 
the  following  spring,  weary  with  hope  long  deferred,  and  worn 
out  with  his  adventures,  De  Soto  fell  a  victim  to  disease,  and 
died  May  21,  1541.  His  followers,  greatly  reduced  in  number  by 
sickness,  after  wandering  about  in  a  vain  searching,  built  three 
small  vessels  and  descended  to  the  mouth  of  the  Mississippi, 
being  the  first  white  men  to  reach  the  outlet  of  that  great  river 
From  the  interior.    However,  tlicy  were  too  weary  and  discour- 


to  lay  claim  to  the  country,  and  took  no  notes  of  the  region 
through  which  they  passed. 

In  1554,  James  Cartier,  a  Frenchman,  discovered  the  St. 
Lawrence,  and  explored  it  as  far  as  the  present  site  of  Quebec. 
The  next  year  he  ascended  the  river  to  Mont  Real,  the  lofty  hill 
for  which  Montreal  was  named.  Thereafter  all  the  country 
drained  by  the  St.  Lawrence  was  claimed  by  the  French.  Many 
years  later  the  King  of  France  granted  the  "basin  of  the  St. 
Lawrence  and  all  the  rivers  flowing  through  it  to  the  sea,"  to  a 
company,  whose  leader  was  Champlain,  tlie  founder  of  Quebec, 
which  became  the  capital  of  New  France,  whose  then  unex- 
plored territory  stretched  westward  to  well  wdthin  the  bounda- 
ries of  Avhat  is  now  Minnesota.  In  1613-15  Champlain  explored 
the  OttaAva  river,  and  the  Georgian  bay  to  Lake  Huron,  and 
missions  were  established  in  the  Huron  country.  IMissionaries 
and  fur  traders  were  the  most  active  explorers  of  the  new  pos- 
sessions. They  followed  the  shores  of  the  Great  Lakes  and  then 
penetrated  further  and  further  into  the  wilderness.  As  they 
went  they  tried  to  make  friends  of  the  red  men,  established 
trading  posts  and  raised  the  Christian  cross.  In  1641  Jogues 
and  Raymbault,  Jesuits,  after  a  long  and  perilous  voyage  in  frail 
canoes  and  bateaux,  reached  the  Sault  Ste.  Marie,  where  they 
heard  of  a  large  river,  the  Mich-is-ip-e,  flowing  southward  to  the 
sea,  and  of  a  powerful  Indian  tribe  dwelling  near  its  head- 
quarters. Stories  of  vast  fertile  plains,  of  numberless  streams, 
of  herds  of  buffalo,  and  of  many  peoples,  in  regions  far  to  the 
west  and  south,  roused  missionaries  and  traders  anew,  and  the 
voyages  and  trips  of  the  explorers  became  more  frequent. 

In  1659-60  Radisson  and  Groselliers,  proceeding  westward 
from  Lake  Superior,  entered  what  is  now  Minnesota.  They  spent 
some  time  in  the  "forty  villages  of  the  Dakotas,"  in  the  vicinity 
of  Mille  Lacs,  and  probably  were  the  first  white  men  to  set  foot 
on  the  soil  of  this  state.  The  contention  that  these  adventurers 
spent  a  part  of  the  years  1655-56  on  Prairie  Island,  in  the  Mis- 
sissippi just  above  Red  Wing,  is  disputed  by  most  historians,  but 
still  forms  au  interesting  subject  for  study  and  conjecture. 

Some  writers  also  claim  that  the  Frenchman,  Sieur  Nicollet, 
who  should  not  be  confused  with  the  Nicollet  of  a  later  d;)te, 
reached  the  Mississippi  in  1639. 

Rene  Menard,  a  Jesuit  missionary,  reached  the  Mississippi  in 
1661  by  way  of  Wisconsin.  This  was  twelve  years  prior  to  its 
discovery  by  Marquette  and  Joliet,  and  to  Menard  historians  in 
general  give  the  honor  of  the  discovery  of  the  upper  waters  of 
the  great  river.  Menard  ascended  the  Mississippi  to  the  mouth 
of  the  Black  river.  Wis.,  and  was  lost  in  a  forest  near  the  source 
of   tliat    stream   while    attempting   to    carry    the    gospel    to    the 


Hnrons.  His  sole  companion  "called  him  and  sought  him,  l)ut  he 
made  no  reply  and  could  not  be  found."  Some  years  later  his 
camp  kettle,  robe  and  prayer  book  were  seen  in  the  possession 
of  the  Indians. 

In  the  summer  of  1663  the  intelligence  of  the  fate  of  ]\Ienard 
reached  Quebec,  and  on  August  8,  1665,  Father  Claude  Allouez, 
who  had  anxiously  waited  two  years  for  the  means  of  convey- 
ance, embarked  for  Lake  Superior  with  a  party  of  French 
traders  and  Indians.  He  visited  the  Minnesota  shores  of  Lake 
Superior  in  the  fall  of  1665,  established  the  Mission  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  at  La  Pointe,  now  in  "Wisconsin,  and  we  are  told  "was 
the  first  to  Avrite  'Messipi'  the  name  of  the  great  river  of  the 
Sioux  country,"  as  he  heard  it  pronounced  by  the  Chippewas,  or 
rather  as  it  sounded  to  his  ears. 

May  13,  1673,  Jaques  Marquette  and  Louis  Joliet,  the  former 
a  priest  and  the  latter  the  commander  of  the  expedition,  set  out 
with  five  assistants,  and  on  June  17  of  the  same  year  reached 
the  TMississippi  at  the  present  site  of  Prairie  du  Chien,  thence 
continuing  down  the  river  as  far  as  the  mouth  of  the  Illinois, 
which  they  ascended,  subsequently  reaching  the  lakes. 

In  1678,  the  Sieur  Duluth,  Daniel  Graysolon,  under  commis- 
sion from  the  governor  of  Canada,  set  out  from  Quebec,  to  ex- 
plore the  country  west  of  the  Lake  Superior  region.  He  was  to 
take  possession  of  it  in  the  name  of  the  king  of  France,  and 
secure  the  trade  of  the  native  tribes.  Duluth  entered  IMinnesota 
in  1679,  reaching  the  great  Sioux  village  of  Kathio  at  Mille  Lacs, 
on  July  2.  "On  that  day,"  he  says,  "I  had  the  honor  to  plant 
His  Majesty's  arms,  where  a  Frenchman  never  before  had  been." 

La  Salle,  however,  was  the  first  to  lay  claim  to  the  entire 
valley  in  the  name  of  his  sovereign.  After  achieving  perpetual 
fame  by  the  discovery  of  the  Ohio  river  (1670-71),  he  conceived 
the  plan  of  reaching  the  Pacific  by  way  of  the  northern  Missis- 
sippi, at  that  time  unexplored  and  supposed  to  be  a  waterway 
connecting  the  two  oceans.  Frontenac,  then  governor-general 
of  Canada,  favored  the  plan,  as  did  the  King  of  France.  Ac- 
cordingly, gathering  a  company  of  Frenchmen,  he  pursued  his 
way  through  the  lakes,  made  a  portage  to  the  Illinois  river,  and 
January  4,  1680,  reached  what  is  now  Lake  Peoria,  in  Illinois. 
From  there,  in  February,  he  sent  Hennepin  and  two  companions 
to  explore  the  upper  ]Mississippi.  During  this  voyage  Hennepin, 
and  the  men  accompanying  him,  were  taken  by  the  Indians  as 
far  north  as  Mille  Lacs.  He  also  discovered  St.  Anthony  Falls. 
Needing  reinforcements,  La  Salle  again  returned  to  Canada.  In 
January,  1682,  with  a  band  of  followers,  he  started  on  his  third 
and  greatest  expedition.  February  6,  they  reached  the  IMissis- 
sippi  by  Avay  of  Lake  Michigan  and  the  Illinois  river,  and  ^lareh 


6,  discovered  the  three  great  passages  by  which  the  river  dis- 
charges its  waters  into  the  Gulf.  Two  days  later  they  reascended 
the  river  a  short  distance,  to  find  a  high  spot  out  of  the  reach 
of  inundations,  and  there  erected  a  column  and  planted  a  cross, 
proclaiming  with  due  ceremony  the  authority  of  the  king  of 
France.  Thus  did  the  whole  Mississippi  valley  pass  under  the 
nominal  sovereignty  of  the  French  monarchs. 

The  first  definite  claim  to  the  upper  Mississippi  is  embodied 
in  a  paper,  still  preserved,  in  the  colonial  archives  of  France, 
entitled  "The  record  of  the  taking  possession,  in  his  majesty's 
name,  of  the  Bay  des  Puants  (Green  bay),  of  the  lake  and  rivers 
of  the  Outagamis  and  IMaskoutins  (Fox  rivers  and  Lake  Winne- 
bago), of  the  river  Ouiskonche  (Wisconsin),  and  that  of  the 
Mississippi,  the  country  of  the  Nadouesioux  (the  Sioux  or  Dakota 
Indians),  the  rivers  St.  Croix  and  St.  Pierre  (Minnesota),  and 
other  places  more  remote,  May  8,  1689."  (E.  B.  0  "Callahan's 
translation  in  1855,  published  in  Vol.  9,  page  418,  "Documents 
Relating  to  the  Colonial  History  of  the  State  of  New  York") 
This  claim  was  made  by  Perrot,  and  the  proclamation  is  supposed 
to  have  been  issued  from  Fort  St.  Antonie  (Anthony)  near  the 
present  site  of  Trempealeau. 

The  previous  proclamations  of  St.  Lusson  in  1671  at  the  out- 
let of  Lake  Superior,  of  De  Luth,  in  1679,  at  the  west  end  of 
the  same  lake  and  at  Mille  Lacs,  had  no  definite  bearing  on  the 
land  now  embraced  in  Mower  county,  but  nevertheless  strength- 
ened the  French  claims  of  sovereignty. 

For  over  eight  decades  thereafter,  the  claims  of  France  were, 
tacitly  at  least,  recognized  in  Europe.  In  1763  there  came  a 
change.  Of  this  change,  A.  N.  Winchell  (in  Vol.  10,  "Minnesota 
Historical  Society  Collections")  writes:  "The  present  eastern 
boundary  of  Minnesota,  in  part  (that  is,  so  far  as  the  Mississippi 
now  forms  its  eastern  boundary),  has  a  history  beginning  at  a 
very  early  date.  In  1763,  at  the  end  of  that  long  struggle  during 
which  England  passed  many  a  mile  post  in  her  race  for  world 
empire,  while  France  lost  nearly  as  much  as  Britain  gained — 
that  struggle,  called  in  America  the  French  and  Indian  war — - 
the  Mississippi  river  became  an  international  boundary.  The 
articles  of  the  definite  treaty  of  peace  were  signed  at  Paris,  on 
February  10,  1763.  The  seventh  article  made  the  Mississippi, 
from  its  source  to  about  the  31st  degree  of  north  latitude,  the 
boundary  between  the  English  colonies  on  this  continent  and 
the  French  Louisiana.  The  text  of  the  article  is  as  follows: 
(Published  in  the  "Gentleman's  Magazine,"  Vol.  33,  pages  121- 
126,  March,  1763). 

"VII.  In  order  to  re-establish  peace  on  solid  and  durable 
foundations,  and  to  remove  forever  all  subjects  of  dispute  to  the 


limits  of  the  British  and  French  Territories  on  the  continent  of 
America; — that  for  the  future,  the  confines  between  the  domains 
of  his  Britannic  majesty  and  those  of  his  most  Christian  majesty 
(the  king  of  France)  in  that  part  of  the  world,  shall  be  fixed 
irrevocably  by  a  line  drawn  down  the  middle  of  the  river  Missis- 
sippi, from  its  source  to  the  river  Iberville,  and  from  thence,  by 
a  line  drawn  along  the  middle  of  this  river,  and  the  Lake  Maure- 
pas  and  Pontchartrain,  to  the  sea."  The  boundary  from  the 
source  of  the  river  further  north,  or  west,  or  in  any  direction, 
was  not  given ;  it  was  evidently  supposed  that  it  would  be  of  no 
importance,  for  many  centuries,  at  least. 

This  seventh  article  of  the  definite  treaty  was  identical  with 
the  sixth  article  in  the  preliminary  treaty  of  peace  signed  by 
England,  Spain  and  France,  at  Fontainebleau,  November  3,  1762. 
On  that  same  day,  November  3,  1762,  the  French  and  Spanish 
representatives  had  signed  another  act  by  which  the  French  king 
"ceded  to  his  cousin  of  Spain,  and  his  successors  forever  *  *  * 
all  the  country  known  by  the  name  of  Louisiana,  including  New 
Orleans  and  the  island  on  which  that  city  is  situated."  This 
agreement  was  kept  secret,  but  when  the  definite  treaty  was 
signed  at  Paris  the  following  year,  this  secret  pact  went  into 
efi'ect,  and  Spain  at  once  became  the  possessor  of  the  area 

At  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  war,  the  territory  east  of 
the  Mississippi,  and  north  of  the  31st  parallel,  passed  under  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  United  States.  By  the  definite  treaty  of  peace 
between  the  United  States  and  Great  Britain,  ratified  at  Paris, 
September  3,  1783,  a  part  of  the  northern  boundary  of  the 
United  States,  and  the  western  boundary  thereof  was  established, 
as  follovv'S:  Commencing  at  the  most  northwestern  point  of  the 
Lake  of  the  Woods  and  from  thence  on  a  due  course  west  to  the 
Mississippi  river  (the  Mississippi  at  that  time  was  thought  to 
extend  into  what  is  now  Canada),  thence  by  a  line  to  be  drawn 
along  the  middle  of  said  Mississippi  river  until  it  shall  intersect 
the  northernmost  part  of  the  31st  degree  of  north  latitude.  (U.  S. 
Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  8,  page  82.) 

In  1800,  by  the  secret  treaty  of  San  (or  Saint)  Ildefouso 
(signed  October  1),  Spain  receded  the  indefinite  tract  west  of  the 
Mississippi  to  France,  which  nation  did  not,  however,  take  formal 
possession  until  three  years  later,  when  the  formality  was  made 
necessary  in  order  that  the  tract  might  be  ceded  to  the  United 
States,  Napoleon,  for  France,  sold  the  tract  to  the  United  States, 
April  30,  1803.  The  region  comprehended  in  the  "Louisiana 
Purchase,"  as  this  area  was  called,  included  all  the  country  west 
of  the   Mississippi,   except   those   portions   west   of   the   Rocky 


mountains  actually  occupied  by  Spain,  and  extended  as  far  north 
as  the  British  territory. 

By  an  act  of  congress,  approved  October  31,  1803,  the  presi- 
dent of  the  United  States  was  authorized  to  take  possession  of 
this  territory,  the  act  providing  that  "all  the  military,  civil,  and 
judicial  powers  exercised  by  the  officers  of  the  existing  govern- 
ment, shall  be  vested  in  such  person  and  persons,  and  shall  be 
exercised  in  such  manner  as  the  president  of  the  United  States 
shall  direct."  (United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  2,  page 

December  20,  1803,  Louisiana  was  formally  turned  over  to 
the  United  States  at  New  Orleans,  by  M.  Laussat,  the  civil  agent 
of  France,  Avho  a  few  days  previous  (November  30)  had  received 
a  formal  transfer  from  representatives  of  Spain. 

Louisiana  District.  By  an  act  of  congress,  approved  ]\Iarch 
26,  1801:,  all  of  that  portion  of  the  country  ceded  by  France  to  the 
United  States  under  the  name  of  Louisiana,  lying  south  of  the 
33d  degree  of  north  latitude,  was  organized  as  the  territory  of 
Orleans  and  all  the  residue  thereof  was  organized  as  the  district 
of  Louisiana.  That  act  contained  the  following  provision:  "The 
executive  power  now  vested  in  the  government  of  the  Indiana 
territory  shall  extend  to  and  be  exercised  in  said  district  of 
Louisiana."  The  area  set  oif  as  the  territory  of  Orleans  was 
admitted  as  the  state  of  Louisiana  in  1812. 

Louisiana  Territory.  By  an  act  of  congress  approved  March 
3,  1805,  all  that  part  of  the  country,  embraced  in  the  district  of 
Louisiana,  Avas  organized  as  a  territory,  called  the  territory  of 

Missouri  Territory.  By  an  act  of  congress  approved  June  4, 
1814,  it  Avas  provided  that  the  territory  hitherto  called  Louisiana 
should  be  called  Missouri,  and  Avas  organized  as  a  territory. 
The  struggles  in  congress  Avhich  led  to  the  Missouri  compromise ; 
the  agreement  that  all  territory  west  of  Missouri  and  north  of 
parallel  36°  36'  should  forever  be  free  from  the  curse  of  slavery, 
and  the  final  admission  of  Missouri  Avitli  her  present  boundaries, 
by  presidential  proclamation,  August  10,  1821,  are  outside  of 
the  province  of  this  history.  Sufficient  is  it  to  say  here  that  this 
admission  left  the  land  to  the  northAvard,  including  MoAver 
county,  Avithout  a  fountain  head  of  territorial  government  from 
1hat  date  until  June  28,  1834,  Avhen  it  Avas  attached  to  Michigan. 

It  is  noAv  necessary  to  turn  to  the  events  that  had  been 
trans]>irJiifr  in  regard  to  tlie  government  of  the  area  east  of  the 
^Mississippi  and  iiort Invest  of  the  Ohio  river. 

The  Northwest  Territory  embraced  all  the  area  of  the  United 
States  nortliAvcst  of  the  Ohio  river.     By  the  provisions  of  the 


famous  "Northwest  Ordinance, "  passed  July  V\  1787,  by  the 
Congress  of  the  Confederation  (the  constitution  of  the  United 
States  not  being  adopted  until  September  17),  tlie  Ohio  river 
became  the  boundary  of  the  territory.  The  fifth  article  of  the 
ordinance  reads  as  follows:  "Art.  5.  There  shall  be  formed  in 
the  said  (i.  e.,  the  Northwest)  territory,  not  less  than  three,  nor 
more  than  tive  states,"  *  *  *  the  western  state  in  the  said 
territory  shall  be  bounded  by  the  Mississippi,  the  Ohio  and  the 
Wabash  rivers;  a  direct  line  drawn  from  the  Wabash  and  Post 
Vincents,  due  north,  to  the  territorial  line  between  the  United 
States  and  Canada;  and  by  the  said  territorial  line  to  the  Lake 
of  the  Woods  and  the  Mississippi.  (See  Executive  Documents, 
3d  session,  46th  congress,  1880-81,  Vol.  25,  Doc.  47,  Part  4,  pages 
153-156;  also  United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  1,  page  51, 
note  a.) 

Indiana  Territory.  Tlie  ordinance  of  1787  provided  for  the 
organization  of  three  "states''  out  of  the  Northwest  Territory. 
That  same  year  the  constitution  of  the  United  States  was  adopted. 
In  1799,  Ohio  organized  a  territorial  government,  but  the  middle 
and  western  "states"  did  not  have,  separately,  sufficient  popula- 
tion to  warrant  the  establishment  of  two  separate  governments. 
Congress  solved  the  difficulty  by  uniting  the  two  under  the  name 
of  Indiana.  The  act  was  passed  May  7,  1800,  and  its  first  section 
reads  as  follows:  "Section  1 — Be  it  enacted,  etc.,  that  from  and 
after  the  fourth  day  of  July  next,  all  that  part  of  the  territory  of 
the  United  States,  northwest  of  the  Ohio  river,  which  lies  to  the 
westward  of  a  line  beginning  at  the  Ohio  opposite  the  moutli  of 
the  Kentucky  river,  and  running  thence  to  Fort  Kecovery,  and 
thence  north  until  it  shall  intersect  the  territorial  line  between 
the  United  States  and  Canada,  shall,  for  the  purpose  of  tempo- 
rary government,  constitute  a  separate  territory,  and  be  called 
the  Indiana  Territory."  (U.  S.  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  2, 
page  58.)     Indiana  was  admitted  as  a  state  in  1816. 

Michigan  Territory.  By  an  act  of  congress  passed  June  11, 
1805,  Michigan  territory  was  fornfed.  The  boundaries  were 
described  as  follows:  "All  that  part  of  the  Indiana  territory 
which  lies  north  of  a  line  draAvn  east  from  the  southerly  bend  or 
extreme  of  Lake  Michigan  until  it  shall  intersect  Lake  Erie,  and 
east  of  a  line  drawn  from  the  said  southerly  bend  througli  the 
middle  of  said  lake  to  its  northern  extremity,  and  thence  due 
north  to  the  northern  l)Oundary  of  the  United  States,  shall  for 
the  piu'pose  of  temporary  government  constitute  a  separate  terri- 
tory, to  be  called  iMichigan.  (U.  S.  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  2, 
page  309.)  Additions,  noted  further  along  in  tliis  artich",  were 
later  made  to  this  territory. 

Illinois  Territory.     In  1S09,  settlers  had  comk'  in  so  fast  timt 


there  were  sufficieut  citizens  in  Indiana  territory  to  snpport  two 
governments.  Accordingly,  the  territory  of  Illinois  was  estab- 
lished, February  3,  1809,  by  the  following  enactment:  "Be  it 
enacted,  etc.,  That  from  and  after  the  first  day  of  March,  next,  all 
that  part  of  the  Indiana  territory  which  lies  west  of  the  Wabash 
river  and  a  direct  line  drawn  from  the  said  Wabash  river  and 
Post  Vincennes,  due  north  to  the  territorial  line  between  the 
United  States  and  Canada,  shall  for  the  purpose  of  temporary 
government  constitute  a  separate  territory,  and  be  called  Illinois. 
(U.  S.  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  2,  page  514.)  Illinois  was  admitted 
p.s  a  state  in  1818. 

Michigan  Territory.  The  population  of  Illinois  continued  to 
increase,  and  the  people  were  eager  for  a  state  government.  The 
southern  portion  was  therefore  granted  statehood  privileges,  and 
the  northern  portion,  mainly  unoccvipied,  Avas  cut  off  and  added 
to  the  territory  of  Michigan,  previously  created.  This  transfer 
of  territory  was  authorized  in  section  7  of  the  act  passed  April  18, 
1818,  enabling  Illinois  to  form  a  state  government  and  constitu- 
tion. The  terms  of  the  act  are  as  follows:  "Section  7.  And  be 
it  further  enacted.  That  all  that  part  of  the  territory  of  the 
United  States  lying  north  of  the  state  of  Indiana,  and  which  was 
inebided  in  the  former  Indiana  territory,  together  with  that  part 
of  the  Illinois  territory  which  is  situated  north  of,  and  not 
included  within  the  boundaries  prescribed  by  this  act  (viz.,  the 
boundaries  of  the  state  of  Illinois)  to  the  state  thereby  authorized 
to  be  formed,  shall  be  and  hereby  is,  attached  to  and  made  a 
part  of  the  Michigan  territory.  Thus  matters  remained  for 
sixteen  years. 

Missouri,  in  the  meantime,  had  been  admitted  as  a  state 
(1821),  and  the  territory  north  of  that  state,  and  Avest  of  the 
Mississippi,  was  practically  without  organized  authority  from 
that  year  until  1834,  when  the  increase  of  settlement  made  it 
advisable  that  the  benefits  of  some  sort  of  government  should  be 
extended  to  its  area.  Consequently,  Michigan  territory  Avas 
extended  to  include  this  vast  region.  The  act  so  enlarging 
Michigan  territory  passed  congress  June  28,  1834,  in  the  folloAA'- 
:ng  terms :  "Be  it  enacted,  etc..  That  all  that  part  of  the  territory 
of  the  United  States,  bounded  on  the  east  by  the  Mississippi  river, 
on  the  south  by  the  state  of  Missouri,  and  a  line  drawn  due  Avest 
from  the  northwest  corner  of  said  state  to  the  Missouri  river;  on 
the  soutliAvest  and  Avest  by  the  Missouri  riA^er  and  the  White 
Earth  river,  falling  into  the  same,  and  on  the  north  by  the  north- 
era  boundary  of  the  United  States,  shall  be,  and  hereby  is,  for  the 
purpose  of  temporary  government  attached  to  and  made  a  part 
oi,  the  territoiy  of  Michigan."  (U.  S.  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  4, 
page  701.)     In  less  than  two  years,  certain  territory  Avas  set  apart 


to  form  the  proposed  state  of  Michigan.  This  act  passed  congress 
April  20,  1836,  but  Michigan  was  not  admitted  until  January  26, 
1837.    (U.  S.  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  5,  pages  10-16.) 

Wisconsin  Territory.  When  AVisconsin  territory  was  organ- 
ized by  an  act  of  congress,  April  20,  1836,  all  the  Louisiana  pur- 
cliase  north  of  the  state  of  Missouri  was  placed  under  its  jurisdic- 
tion. This  included  Mower  county.  The  boundaries  as  given 
at  that  time  were  as  follows:  "Bounded  on  the  east  by  a  line 
drawn  from  the  northeast  corner  of  the  state  of  Illinois  through 
the  middle  of  Lake  ]\Iichigan  to  a  point  in  the  middle  of  said 
lake  and  opposite  the  main  channel  of  Green  Bay  and  through 
said  channel  and  Green  Bay  to  the  mouth  of  the  Menominee 
river,  thence  through  the  middle  of  the  main  channel  of  said 
rivr-r  to  that  head  of  said  river  nearest  the  Lake  of  the  Desert, 
1  hence  in  a  direct  line  to  the  middle  of  said  lake,  thence  through 
tlie  middle  of  the  main  channel  of  the  Montreal  river  to  its 
mouth  ;  thence  with  a  direct  line  across  Lake  Superior  to  where 
the  territorial  line  of  the  United  States  last  touches  said  lake, 
northAvest,  thence  on  the  north  with  the  said  territorial  line  to  the 
White  Earth  river  (located  in  what  is  now  Wood  county.  North 
Dakota).  On  the  west  by  a  line  from  the  said  boundary  line,  fol- 
lowing down  the  middle  of  the  main  channel  of  the  White  Earth 
river  to  the  Missouri  river,  and  down  the  middle  of  the  main 
channel  of  the  Missouri  river  to  a  point  due  west  from  the  north- 
Avesi  corner  of  the  state  of  Missouri;  and  on  the  south  from  said 
point  due  east  to  the  northwest  corner  of  the  state  of  Missouri,  and 
thence  with  the  boundaries  of  the  states  of  Missouri  and  Illinois 
as  already  fixed  by  act  of  congress.  (U.  S.  Statutes  at  Large, 
'Vol.  5,  page  18.)  It  is  interesting  to  note  in  this  connection  that 
two  sessions  of  the  Wisconsin  territorial  legislature  were  held  at 
whfit  is  now  Burlington,  Iowa. 

Iowa  Territory.  The  territory  of  Iowa  Avas  created  by  the 
act  of  congress,  June  12,  1838,  which  act  divided  the  territory 
of  Wisconsin  along  the  Mississippi  river  and  named  the  western 
part,  Iowa.  The  act  provided :  ' '  That  from  and  after  the  third 
day  of  July,  next,  all  that  part  of  the  present  territory  of  Wis- 
consin AA'hich  lies  west  of  the  INIississippi  river  and  west  of  a  line 
draAvn  due  south  from  the  head  waters  or  sources  of  the  Missis- 
sippi to  the  territorial  lines,  shall,  for  the  purpose  of  temporary 
government,  be  and  constitute  a  separate  territorial  government, 
by  the  name  of  loAva."  The  area  noAV  embracing  ]\IoAver  couuty 
Avas  included  Avithin  these  lines. 

loAva  remained  a  territory  from  1838  to  18-16.  The  greater 
part  of  southern  and  southeastern  INIinnesota  Avas  Avithin  the 
jurisdiction  of  Clayton  county.  Henry  11.  Sibley  Avas  a  justice 
of  the  peace   in   that   county.     The  county  seat    Avas  2r)0  miles 


distant  from  his  home  iu  ^leudota,  and  his  jm'isdietion  extended 
over  a  region  of  eountry,  which,  as  he  expressed  it,  was  "as 
large  as  the  empire  of  France."  A  convention  of  duly  authorized 
representatives  of  the  people  remained  in  session  at  Iowa  City 
from  October  7  to  November  1,  1844,  and  framed  a  state  consti- 
tution. It  was  provided  that  the  constitution  adopted,  together 
with  any  alterations  which  might  subsequently  be  made  by  con- 
gress, should  be  submitted  to  the  people  of  the  territory  for  their 
approval  or  re.jection  at  the  township  elections  in  April,  1845. 
The  boundaries  of  the  proposed  new  state,  as  defined  in  the  con- 
stitution, were  in  part  as  follows:  ''  *  *  *  Thence  up  in  the 
middle  of  the  main  channel  of  the  river  last  mentioned  (the 
I\lissouri)  to  the  mouth  of  the  Sioux  or  Calumet  river;  thence  in 
a  direct,  line  to  the  middle  of  the  main  channel' of  the  St.  Peter's 
(Minnesota)  river,  where  the  Watonwan  river — according  to 
Nicollet's  map — enters  the  same,  thence  down  the  middle  of  the 
main  channel  of  said  river  to  the  middle  of  the  Mississippi  river ; 
thence  down  the  middle  of  said  river  to  the  place  of  beginning." 
This  would  have  included  in  the  state  of  Iowa  Mower  county,  and 
in  fact,  all  the  counties  of  what  is  now  IMinnesota  that  lie  south 
and  east  of  the  Minnesota  as  far  as  Mankato,  also  including  Fari- 
bault county  and  nearly  all  of  Martin,  the  greater  part  of  Blue 
Earth  and  portions  of  AVatonwan,  Cottonwood  nd  Jackson. 

Congress  rejected  these  boundary  lines,  and  March  3,  1845, 
in  its  enabling  act,  substituted  the  following  description  of  the 
proposed  boundaries:  "Beginning  at  the  mouth  of  the  Des 
Moines  river,  in  the  middle  of  the  Mississippi ;  thence  by  the 
middle  of  the  channel  of  that  river  to  the  parallel  of  latitude 
passing  through  the  moiith  of  the  IMankato  or  Blue  Earth  river ; 
thence  west  along  said  parallel  of  latitude  to  a  point  where  it  is 
intersected  by  a  meridian  line  17°  30'  west  of  the  meridian  of 
Washington  City;  thence  due  south  to  the  northern  boundary 
line  of  the  state  of  Missouri;  thence  eastwardly  following  tliat 
boundary  to  the  point  at  which  the  same  intersects  with  the  Des 
Moines  river ;  thence  by  the  middle  of  the  channel  of  that  river 
to  the  place  of  beginning."  Thus  the  soutliern  boundary  of 
Minnesota  would  haA^e  been  on  a  line  due  east  from  the  present 
city  oC  ]\Iankato  to  the  Mississippi  river  and  due  west  from  the 
same  point  to  a  point  in  Brown  county.  This  would  have  included 
in  Iowa  all  but  a  small  fraction  of  the  counties  of  Winona,  Olm- 
stead.  Dodge,  Steele,  AVaseka  and  Blue  Earth,  portions  of  Brown, 
Watonwan  and  Martin;  and  all  of  Faribault,  Freeborn,  Slower, 
Fillmore  and  Houston.  This  reduction  in  its  proposed  territory 
was  not  pleasing  to  those  citizens  of  Iowa  who  wished  the  state 
to  have  its  boundaries  to  include  the  Minnesota  river  from  the 
Blue  Earth  to  the  ^Mississippi  and  the  Mississippi  from  the  Minne- 


sota  river  to  the  Missouri  state  Hue.  This  chaugiug  in  the  bound- 
ary was  really  a  political  measure,  a  part  of  those  battles  in 
congress  over  free  and  slave  states  which  preceded  the  Civil  war. 
The  boundaries  as  proposed  by  congress  were  rejected  by  the 
people  of  Iowa  after  a  bitter  campaign.  August  4,  1846,  congress 
passed  a  second  enabling  act,  which  was  accepted  by  the  people 
by  a  narrow  margin  of  456,  the  vote  being  9,492  for  and  9,036 
against.  This  second  act  placed  the  northern  boundary  of  Iowa 
still  further  south,  but  added  territory  to  the  west.  The  northern 
boundary  of  Iowa,  as  described  in  the  enabling  act,  was  identical 
with  the  parallel  of  43°  30'  north,  from  the  Big  Sioux  river  east- 
ward to  the  Mississippi.  This,  with  the  exception  of  the  short 
distance  from  the  Big  Sioux  river  to  the  present  western  boundary 
of  Minnesota,  is  the  present  southern  boundary  of  our  state. 
Minnesota's  southern  boundary,  as  thus  described,  was  carefully 
surveyed  and  marked  within  six  yeai's  of  its  acceptance  by  Iowa. 
Tlie  work  was  authorized  March  3,  1849,  and  two  appropriations 
of  $1,500  each  were  soon  made.  The  survey  was  completed  during 
the  years  1849  to  1852,  at  a  total  cost  of  $32,277.73.  Although  the 
work  was  done  with  the  best  instruments  then  known,  an  error  of 
twenty-three  chains,  evidently  due  to  carelessness,  was  discovered 
within  a  year.  Iowa  was  admitted  as  a  state  December  28,  1846. 
Wisconsin  State.  Wisconsin  soon  wished  to  become  a  state. 
The  northwestern  boundary  provoked  considerable  discussion 
both  in  congress  and  in  the  two  constitutional  conventions  whicli 
were  called.  There  were  some  who  wished  to  include  all  the 
remaining  portion  of  the  northwest  territory  within  the  boand- 
aries  of  the  new  proposed  state.  The  two  prevailing  coteries, 
however,  were  the  ones  between  whom  the  fight  really  centered. 
One  body  wished  the  northwestern  boundary  of  the  new  state 
(Wisconsin)  to  extend  up  the  Mississippi  as  far  as  the  Rum  river, 
where  the  city  of  Anoka  is  now  situated,  thence  northeastAvardly 
to  the  first  rapids  of  the  St.  Louis  river  and  thence  lo  Lake  Supe- 
rior. The  residents  of  the  St.  Croix  valley,  and  those  living  on 
the  east  side  of  the  Mississippi,  between  the  St.  Croix  and  the 
Hum  river,  constituted  the  other  party  and  objected  to  being 
included  in  the  proposed  state  of  Wisconsin.  They  declared  tJuit 
they  were  separated  from  the  settled  portions  of  Wisconsin  l)y 
hundreds  of  miles  of  barren  land,  and  still  more  greatly  separated 
ty  a  ditiPerence  in  the  interests  and  character  of  the  inhabitants. 
They  proposed  that  the  northwest  boundary  of  the  new  state 
should  be  a  line  drawn  due  south  from  Shagwamigan  bay,  on  Lake 
Superior,  to  the  intersection  of  the  main  Chippewa  river,  and 
from  thence  down  the  middle  of  said  river  to  its  debouchure  into 
the  Mississippi.  Residents  of  the  district  affected  and  also  about 
Fort  Snelling  and  on  the  west  bank  of  tlic  ^Mississij^pi  furtlicr  u|> 


joined,  in  a  memorial  to  congress,  citing  the  grave  injustice  tliat 
would  be  done  the  proposed  territory  of  ]\Iinnesota  if  it  were  left 
without  a  single  point  on  the  Mississippi  below  St.  Anthony's 
falls,  the  limit  of  navigation.  Among  those  who  signed  this 
memorial  were  H.  H.  Sibley  and  Alexander  Faribault.  The  result 
of  the  controversy  was  a  compromise  adopting  a  middle  line  along 
the  St.  Croix  and  St.  Louis  rivers. 

The  enabling  act  for  the  state  of  AA'isconsin,  approved  August 
6,  1S46,  provided:  "That  the  people  of  the  territory  of  AViseonsin 
be  and  they  are  hereby  authorized  to  form  a  constitution  and 
state  government  *  *  *  with  the  following  boundaries,  to-wit : 
*  *  *  thence  through  the  center  of  Lake  Superior  to  the  mouth 
of  the  St.  Louis  river,  thence  up  the  main  channel  of  said  river 
to  the  first  rapids  in  the  same,  above  the  Indian  village,  according 
to  Nicollet's  map;  thence  due  south  to  the  main  branch  of  the 
River  St.  Croix ;  thence  down  the  main  channel  of  said  river  to 
the  Mississippi ;  thence  down  the  maua  channel  of  said  river  to  tlie 
northwest  corner  of  the  state  of  Illinois,  thence  due  east  *  *  *." 
This  is  the  first  and  incidentally  the  present  description  of  Alinne- 
sota's  eastern  boundary.  (United  States  Statutes  at  Large,  Vol.  9, 
page  56.) 

The  convention  that  framed  the  constitution  of  AVisconsiu  in 
1847-48  strongly  desired  the  Rum  river  as  their  eastern  boundary. 
After  accepting  the  boundary  chosen  by  congress  the  convention 
recommended  a  line  which,  if  agreeable  to  congress,  should  replace 
the  one  in  the  enabling  act.  The  proposed  boundary,  which  was 
rejected,  was  described  as  follows:  Leaving  the  aforesaid  bound- 
ary line  at  tlie  first  rapids  of  the  St.  Louis  river,  thence  in  a 
direct  line,  bearing  southwestwardly  to  the  mouth  of  the  Isko- 
dewabo  or  Rum  river,  where  the  same  empties  into  the  Missis- 
sippi river,  thence  down  the  main  channel  of  the  said  Mississippi 
river  to  the  aforesaid  boundary.  (Charters  and  Constitutions  of 
the  L'nitod  States,  Part  ii,  page  2030.) 

Minnesota  Territory.  The  events  which  led  up  to  tlie  estab- 
lishing of  Minnesota  as  a  territory  can  be  given  but  brief  mention 
here.  Sulficient  is  it  to  say  that  for  three  years  after  the  admis- 
sion of  Iowa  (in  1846)  the  area  that  is  now  Minnesota,  west  of 
the  Mississippi,  Avas  practically  a  no-man's  land.  December  18, 
1846,  Morgan  L.  Martin,  delegate  from  AVisconsin  territory,  gave 
notice  to  the  house  of  representatives  that  "at  an  early  day"  he 
would  ask  leave  to  introduce  a  bill  establishing  the  territorial 
government  of  Minnesota.  The  name,  which  is  the  Indian  term 
for  Avhat  was  then  the  river  St.  Peter  (Pierre)  and  has  now  become 
its  official  designation  was,  it  is  believed,  applied  to  the  proposed 
territory  at  the  suggestion  of  Joseph  R.  BroAvn.  During  its  con- 
sideration by  congress  the  l)iU  underwent  various  changes.     As 


reported  back  to  the  house,  the  name  "Minnesota"  had  been 
changed  by  Stephen  A.  Douglas  to  "Itasca."  Mr.  Martin  imme- 
diately moved  that  the  name  "Minnesota"  be  placed  in  the  bill  in 
place  of  ' '  Itasca. "  "  Chippewa, "  "  Jackson ' '  and  ' '  Washington ' ' 
were  also  proposed.  After  many  motions,  counter  motions  and 
amendments,  "Minnesota"  was  placed  in  the  bill,  which  with  a 
minor  change  passed  the  house.  In  the  senate  it  was  rejected. 
A  second  attempt  was  made  two  years  later.  January  10,  1848, 
Stephen  A.  Douglas  gave  due  notice  to  the  senate  that  "at  a 
future  day"'  lie  would  introduce  a  bill  to  establish  the  territory 
of  Minnesota.  He  brought  in  the  bill  February  23.  It  was  several 
dmes  read,  was  amended,  referred  to  committee  and  discussed, 
but  congress  adjourned  August  l-l  without  taking  ultimate  action 
on  the  proposition. 

In  the  meantime  "Wisconsin  Avas  admitted  to  the  Union  ]\Iay  29, 
1848,  and  the  western  half  of  what  was  then  St.  Croix  county  was 
left  outside  the  new  state.  The  settled  portions  of  the  area  thus 
cut  off  from  Wisconsin  by  its  admission  to  statehood  privileges 
were  in  the  southern  part  of  the  peninsula  of  land  lying  between 
tlie  ]\tississippi  and  the  St.  Croix. 

The  people  of  this  area  were  now  confronted  with  a  serious 
problem.  As  residents  of  the  territory  of  Wisconsin  they  had 
enjoj'ed  the  privileges  of  citizenship  in  the  United  States.  By 
the  creation  of  the  state  of  Wisconsin  they  were  disfranchised 
and  left  without  the  benefits  of  organized  government.  Thus, 
Stillwater,  which  had  been  the  governmental  seat  of  a  growing 
county  (St.  Croix),  was  left  outside  the  pale  of  organized  law. 
Legal  minds  disagreed  on  the  question  of  whether  the  minor  civil 
officers,  such  as  justices  of  the  peace,  created  under  the  territorial 
organization,  were  still  qualified  to  exercise  the  authority  of  their 
positions.  At  a  meeting  held  at  St.  Paul,  in  July,  1848,  the  citizens 
of  that  (then)  village  considered  the  necessity  for  the  formation 
of  a  new  territory.  August  5  a  meeting  of  citizens  of  the  area 
west  of  the  St.  Croix  was  held  at  Stillwater,  and  it  was  decided 
to  call  a  general  convention  at  that  place,  August  26,  1848,  for  a 
three-fold  purpose :  1 — To  elect  a  territorial  delegate  to  congi-ess. 
2 — To  organize  a  territory  with  a  name  other  than  Wisconsin. 
3 — To  determine  whether  tlie  laws  and  organization  of  the  old 
territory  of  Wisconsin  were  still  in  effect  now  that  a  part  of  that 
territory  was  organized  as  a  state.  In  the  call  for  this  meeting, 
the  signers  called  themselves,  "AVe,  the  undersigned  citizens  of 
Minnesota  territory."  Tlie  meeting  was  held  pursuant  to  tlie 
call.  Action  was  taken  in  regard  to  the  first  proposition  by  the 
election  of  II.  H.  Sibley,  who  was  authorized  to  proceed  to  Wash- 
ington and  use  such  efforts  as  were  in  hi^s  power  to  secure  the 
organization   of  the   territory    of  ^Minnesota.      In    regard    fo   the 


second  proposition  a  memorial  was  addressed  to  the  president  oC 
the  United  States,  stating  the  reasons  why  the  organization  of 
Minnesota  territory  was  necessary.  The  third  proposition  pre- 
sented technical  points  worthy  of  the  attention  of  the  wisest  legal 
minds.  The  state  of  "Wisconsin  had  been  organized,  but  the  terri- 
tory of  Wisconsin  had  not  been  abolished.  AVas  not,  therefore, 
the  territory  still  in  existence,  and  did  not  its  organization  and 
its  laws  still  prevail  in  the  part  of  the  territory  that  had  not  been 
included  in  the  state  1  If  territorial  government  was  in  existence 
Yvould  it  not  give  the  residents  thereof  a  better  standing  before 
the  nation  in  their  desire  to  become  Minnesota  territory  ?  IMight 
not  this  technicality  give  the  delegate  a  seat  in  congress  when 
otherwise  he  must,  as  simply  the  representative  of  an  unorganized 
area,  make  his  requests  in  the  lobby  and  to  the  individual  mem- 
bers? John  Catlin,  who  had  been  secretary  of  the  territory  of 
Wisconsin  before  the  organization  of  that  state,  declared  that  the 
territory  still  existed  in  the  area  not  included  in  the  organized 
state  and  that  he  was  the  acting  governor.  Accordingly,  the 
people  of  the  cut-off  portion  organized  as  the  "Territory  of  Wis- 
consin," and  named  a  day  for  the  election  of  a  delegate.  In  the 
closely  contested  election,  held  October  30,  1848,  Sibley  won  out 
against  Henry  M.  Rice  and  accordingly  made  his  way  to  Wash- 
ington, technically  from  the  "Territory  of  AVisconsin,"  actually 
as  a  representative  of  the  proposed  territory  of  Minnesota.  As  a 
matter  of  fact,  indeed,  Sibley,  living  at  Mendota,  had  ceased  to  be 
a  citizen  of  the  territory  of  Wisconsin  in  1838,  when  Iowa  territory 
was  created,  and  was  a  resident  of  the  part  of  Iowa  territory 
which  the  organization  of  the  state  of  Iowa  had  left  without  a 
government,  rather  than  of  that  territory  in  question  (between 
the  Mississippi  and  the  St.  Croix)  which  the  admission  of  Wis- 
consin as  a  state  had  left  without  a  government.  Sibley  was,  how- 
ever, after  much  opposition,  admitted  to  congress  and  given  a 
seat  January  15,  1849.  He  at  once  set  about  securing  friends  for 
the  proposition  to  create  Minnesota  territory.  December  4,  1848, 
a  few  days  previous  to  Sibley's  admission  to  congress,  Stephen  A. 
Douglas  had  announced  that  it  was  his  intention  to  introduce 
anew  a  bill  to  establish  the  territory  of  Minnesota.  Like  the  pre- 
vious attempt,  this  bill  underwent  various  vicissitudes.  As  passed, 
March  3,  1849,  the  act  creating  the  territory  read  as  follows:  "Be 
it  enacted,  *  *  *  That  from  and  after  the  passage  of  this  act, 
all  that  part  of  the  territory  of  the  United  States  which  lies 
within  tlie  following  limits,  to-Avit :  Beginning  in  the  Mississippi 
river  at  a  point  where  the  line  of  43°  and  30'  of  north  latitude 
crosses  the  same,  thence  running  due  west  on  said  line,  wliieli  is 
the  northern  boundary  of  the  state  of  Iowa,  to  the  northwest 
corner  of  the  said  state  of  Iowa ;  thence  southerly  along  the  west- 


ern  boundary  of  said  state  to  the  point  Avhere  said  boundary 
strikes  the  Missouri  river;  thence  up  the  middle  of  the  main  cliau- 
nel  of  the  Missouri  river  to  the  mouth  of  the  White  Earth  river ; 
thence  up  tlie  middle  of  the  main  channel  of  the  White  Earth  river 
to  the  boundary  line  between  the  possessions  of  the  United  States 
and  Great  Britain ;  thence  east  and  south  of  east  along  the  bound- 
ary line  betvi^een  the  possessions  of  the  United  States  and  Great 
Britain  to  Lake  Superior ;  thence  in  a  straight  line  to  the  northern- 
most point  of  the  state  of  Wisconsin,  in  Lake  Superior;  thence 
along  the  vpestern  boundary  of  the  state  of  Wisconsin  to  the 
Mississippi  river ;  thence  down  the  main  channel  of  said  river  to 
the  place  of  beginning,  and  the  same  is  hereby  erected  into  a 
temporary  government  by  the  name  of  the  territory  of 

The  executive  power  of  the  territory  of  IMinnesota  was  vested 
in  a  governor,  (appointed  by  the  president,  whose  term  of  office 
was  four  years,  unless  sooner  removed  by  the  president),  who 
was  also  superintendent  of  Indian  atfairs.  The  legislative  power 
was  vested  in  a  governor  and  a  legislative  assembly,  consisting 
of  a  council  of  nine  members,  whose  term  of  ottice  was  two  years, 
and  a  house  of  representatives  of  eighteen  members,  whose  term 
of  office  was  one  year.  It  was  provided  that  the  number  of  mem- 
bers in  the  council  and  the  house  might  be  increased  by  the  legis- 
lative assembly  from  time  to  time  in  proportion  to  the  increase 
in  population,  but  that  the  whole  number  should  not  exceed  fifteen 
councillors  and  thirty-nine  representatives.  It  was  provided  that 
the  first  election  should  be  held  at  such  time  and  place  and  be  con- 
ducted in  svich  manner  as  the  governor  should  appoint  and  direct. 
and  that  the  persons  thus  elected  to  the  legislative  assembly  should 
meet  at  such  place,  and  on  such  days  as  the  governor  should 
appoint,  but  thereafter  the  time  and  place  and  manner  of  holding 
and  conducting  all  elections  by  the  people,  and  the  apportioning 
the  representatives  in  the  several  counties  and  districts,  to  tlie 
council  and  house  of  representatives,  according  to  the  population, 
should  be  prescribed  by  law,  as  well  as  the  day  of  the  com- 
mencement of  the  regular  sessions  of  the  legislative  assembly,  but 
that  no  session  should  exceed  sixty  days. 

Every  white  male  inhabitant  above  the  age  of  twenty-one,  who 
was  a  resident  of  the  territory  at  the  time  of  the  passage  of  the 
act  organizing  the  same,  was  entitled  to  vote  and  eligible  to 
office  at  the  tirst  election.  But  the  qualification  of  voters  and  of 
holding  office  at  all  subsequent  elections  should  be  such  as  should 
be  prescribed  by  the  legislative  assembly.  It  was  provided  by 
the  act  that  all  laws  passed  by  the  legislative  assembly  should  bi- 
submitted  to  congress,  and  if  disapproved  by  it.  should  be  null  and 
of  no  effect.    The  laws  in  force  in  tlie  li-rrilory  of  Wisconsin  after 


the  date  of  the  admission  of  the  state  of  Wisconsin  Avere  con- 
tinued to  be  valid  and  in  operation  in  the  territory  of  ^Minnesota 
so  far  as  not  incompatible  Avith  the  provisions  of  the  act  of  organi- 
zation of  the  territory  of  jMinnesota,  subject  to  be  altered,  modified 
or  repealed  by  the  governor  and  legislative  assembly  of  said  terri- 
tory. All  justices  of  the  peace,  constables,  sheriffs  and  all  other 
judicial  and  ministerial  officers  who  were  in  office  within  the  limits 
of  the  territory  at  the  time  of  law  organizing  the  territory  was 
approved  were  authorized  and  required  to  continue  to  exercise 
and  perform  the  duties  of  their  respective  offices  as  officers  of  the 
territory  of  Minnesota  temporarily  and  until  they,  or  others, 
should  be  appointed  and  qualified  in  the  manner  therein  described 
or  until  their  offices  should  be  abolished. 

The  governor  was  given  the  veto  power,  and  the  council  and 
iiouse  could  pass  a  bill  over  his  veto  ])y  a  two-thirds  vote.  The 
judicial  power  of  the  territory  was  vested  in  a  supreme  court, 
district  court,  probate  court  and  in  justices  of  the  peace.  Tlie 
supreme  court  consisted  of  a  chief  justice  and  two  associate  jus- 
tices, appointed  by  the  president,  whose  term  of  office  was  four 
years  and  whose  salary  was  $1,800  a  year. 

The  territory  was  by  the  act  of  organization  required  to  be 
divided  into  three  judicial  districts,  and  the  district  court  to  be 
held  therein  by  one  of  the  judges  of  the  supreme  court  at  such 
times  and  places  as  might  be  prescribed  by  law,  and  the  judges 
thereof  were  required  to  reside  in  the  districts  assigned  to  thorn. 
The  clerks  of  said  courts  were  appointed  by  the  judges  thereof. 

The  United  States  officers  of  the  territory  were  a  governor, 
secretary,  chief  justice,  two  associate  justices,  attorney  and  mar- 
shal, appointed  by  the  president  with  the  advice  and  consent  of 
the  senate  of  the  United  States.  The  governor  received  a  salary 
of  •'l!l,500  a  year  as  governor  and  $1,000  a  year  as  superintendent 
of  Indian  affairs.  The  chief  justice  and  associate  justices  and 
secretary  received  a  salary  of  $1,800  a  year,  and  the  members  of 
the  legislative  assembly  $3  a  day  during  their  attendance  upon 
the  sessions  thereof  and  $3  each  day  for  every  twenty  miles  tniv- 
eled  going  to  and  returning  therefrom. 

State  of  Minnesota.  Tlie  people  of  the  territory  of  ]\Ininesota 
were  ]]ot  long  content  with  a  territorial  government.  In  the 
wovds  of  A.  N.  AVincliell,  "December  24,  1856,  the  delegate  from 
tlie  territory  of  .Minnesota  introduced  a  l)ill  to  authorize  the 
people  of  that  territory  to  form  a  constitution  and  state  govern 
ment.  Tlie  l)il]  limited  tlie  proposed  state  on  the  west  liv  tlie 
]^-<1  Kiver  of  file  Xortii  antl  the  Big  Sioux  I'iver.  It  was  I'cferred 
to  the  committee  on  territories,  of  which  Mr.  Grow,  of  Pennsyl- 
vania, was  eluiiinum.  January  31,  1857,  the  chairman  reported  a 
subslitute,  whicii   dift'ei'ed   from  the  original   bill   in  no   essential 



respect  except  in  regard  to  the  western  boundary.  The  change 
tliere  consisted  in  adopting  a  line  through  Traverse  and  Big  Stom; 
lakes,  due  south  from  the  latter  to  the  Iowa  line.  The  altered 
boundary  cut  ott'  a  narrow  strip  of  territory,  estimated  by  Mr. 
GroAv  to  contain  between  five  and  six  hundred  square  miles. 
Today  the  strip  contains  such  towns  as  Sioux  Falls,  Watertowu 
and  Brookings.  The  substitute  had  a  stormy  voyage  through  con- 
gress, especially  in  the  senate,  but  finally  completed  the  trip  on 
February  25,  1857." 

The  enabling  act,  as  passed  and  approved  February  26,  1857, 
defined  the  boundaries  of  Minnesota  as  follows:  "Be  it  enac^ted, 
*  *  *  That  the  inhabitants  of  that  portion  of  the  territory  of 
Minnesota,  which  is  embraced  with  the  following  limits,  to-wit : 
Beginning  at  the  point  in  the  center  of  the  main  channel  of  the 
Red  River  of  the  North,  where  the  boundary  line  between  the 
United  States  and  the  British  possessions  crosses  the  same ;  thence 
up  the  main  channel  of  said  river  to  that  of  the  Bois  des  Sioux 
river ;  thence  (up)  the  main  channel  of  said  river  to  Lake  Travers ; 
thence  up  the  center  of  said  lake  to  the  southern  extremity 
thereof ;  thence  in  a  direct  line  to  the  head  of  Big  Stone  lake ; 
thence  through  its  center  to  its  outlet ;  thence  by  a  due  south  line 
to  the  north  line  of  the  state  of  Iowa ;  thence  east  along  the  north- 
ern boundary  of  said  state  to  the  main  channel  of  the  Mississippi 
river;  thence  up  the  main  channel  of  said  river  and  following 
the  boundary  line  of  the  state  of  AVisconsin,  until  the  same  inter- 
sects the  St.  Louis  river;  thence  down  said  river  to  and  through 
Lake  Superior,  on  the  boundary  line  of  Wisconsin  and  IMichigan, 
until  it  intersects  the  dividing  line  between  the  United  States  and 
the  British  possession ;  thence  up  Pigeon  river  and  following  said 
dividing  line  to  the  place  of  beginning;  be  and  the  same  are 
thereby  authorized  to  form  for  themselves  a  constitution  and  state 
government,  by  the  name  of  the  state  of  Minnesota,  and  to  come 
into  the  Union  on  an  equal  footing  with  the  original  states,  accord- 
ing to  the  federal  constitution." 

These  boundaries  were  accepted  witliout  change  and  are  the 
boundaries  of  the  state  at  the  present  time.  The  state  Avas 
admitted  May  11,  1858. 

It  will  therefore  be  seen  that  the  territorial  claim  of  title  to 
IMower  county  was  first  embraced  in  the  papal  gi-ant  to  Spain, 
May  4,  1493.  It  was  then  included  in  the  indefinite  chiiins  made 
by  Spain  to  lands  north  and  northwest  of  liei-  sett  leiiieiils  in  Mex- 
ico, Florida  and  the  West  Indies;  by  tiie  Englisli  to  jjinds  west  of 
their  Atlantic  coast  settlements,  and  by  tlu^  French  to  hinds  south, 
west  and  southwest  of  their  Canadian  setllemenls.  'I'he  first 
definite  claim  to  territory  now  embracing  .Mowei-  county  was  made 
by  La  Salle  cit  tlie  mouth  of  the  Mississi|)i)i.  .Maivli  S.  1(1S2.  in  tin- 


name  of  the  king  of  France,  and  the  second  (still  more  definite) 
by  Perrot  near  the  present  site  of  Trempealeau,  Wis.,  May  8,  1689. 
This  was  also  a  French  claim.  France  remained  in  tacit  authority 
until  February  10,  1763,  when,  upon  England's  acknowledging 
the  French  authority  to  lands  west  of  the  Mississippi,  France,  by 
a  previous  secret  agreement,  turned  her  authority  over  to  Spain. 
October  1,  1800,  Spain  ceded  the  tract  to  France,  but  France  did 
not  take  formal  possession  until  November  30,  1803,  and  almost 
immediately,  December  20,  1803,  turned  it  over  to  the  United 
States,  the  Americans  having  purchased  it  from  Napoleon  April 
30  of  that  year. 

]\Iarch  26,  1804,  the  area  that  is  now  ]Mower  county  was 
included  in  Louisiana  district  as  a  part  of  Indiana  and  so 
remained  until  March  3,  1805.  From  March  3,  1805,  to  June  4, 
1812,  it  was  a  part  of  Louisiana  territory.  From  June  4,  1812, 
until  August  10,  1820,  it  was  a  part  of  Missouri  territory.  From 
August  10,  1821,  until  June  28,  1834,  it  was  outside  the  pale  of 
all  organized  government,  except  that  congress  had  general  juris- 
diction. From  June  28,  1834,  to  April  20,  1836,  it  was  a  part  of 
Michigan  territory.  From  April  20,  1836,  to  June  12,  1838,  it  was 
a  part  of  Wisconsin  territory.  From  June  12,  1838,  to  December 
28,  1846,  it  was  a  part  of  the  territory  of  Iowa  and  was  included 
in  the  boundaries  at  first  proposed  for  the  state  of  Iowa.  From 
December  28,  1846,  to  March  3,  1849,  it  was  again  without  terri- 
torial affiliation.  From  March  3,  1849,  to  May  11,  1858,  it  was  a 
part  of  Minnesota  territory,  and  on  the  latter  date  became  an 
integral  part  of  that  sovereign  state. 




No  Evidence  That  the  French  Explorers  Ever  Saw  Mower  County 
— United  States  Dragoons  the  First  White  Men  to  Leave  a 
Record  of  Having  Visited  This  Locality — Expedition  of  1835 
— Four  Conipanies  Under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Stephen  W. 
Kearney,  with  Albert  Lea  in  Command  of  Company  I,  Cross 
Mower  County  Twice — Major  Lawrence  Taliaferro,  Dr.  John 
Emerson  and  the  Slave,  Dred  Scott,  Visit  the  County  in  1836 
— Henry  H.  Sibley,  Alexander  Faribault,  John  C.  Fremont 
and  William  H.  Forbes  Here  in  1840— Svxrveying  Party  in 
1852 — Another  in  1853 — Township  and  Section  Lines  Are 

From  time  immemorial  until  some  time  after  the  coming  of 
the  whites,  the  territory  now  embraced  in  Mower  county  was  the 
hunting  ground  of  the  Indians.  As  there  were  no  permanent 
Indian  villages  here,  and  little  of  geographic  interest  in  the  sweep 
of  prairie  now  embraced  in  southern  Minnesota  and  northern 
Iowa,  none  of  the  earlier  explorers,  so  far  as  we  know,  visited 
Mower  county.  Hennepin  with  his  two  companions,  Pickard  du 
Guy  (Auguelle)  and  JMiehael  Accault  (Ako),  who  explored  the 
upper  Mississippi  in  1680;  Perrot,  who  had  trading  posts  about 
Lake  Pepin  as  early  as  1685 ;  LeSueur,  who  built  a  fort  near  Red 
Wing  on  Prairie  Island  in  1695,  and  one  near  ^Mankato  in  1700; 
La  Hontau,  who  wrote  marvelous  accounts  of  adventures,  and 
who  is  now  entirely  discredited  by  historians;  Jonathan  Carver, 
who  ascended  the  upper  ^Mississippi  in  1766 ;  Lieutenant  Zebulon 
M.  Pike,  who  explored  the  upper  jMississippi  in  1805-06 ;  Colonel 
Henry  Leavenworth,  who  is  1819  started  at  IMendota  in  what  is 
now  Dakota  county,  the  fort  which  was  afterward  moved  across 
the  river  and  became  Fort  Snelling;  ]Major  Stephen  H.  Long,  who 
explored  the  upper  iMississippi  in  1817  and  1823;  Governor  Lewis 
Cass,  who  in  1820  explored  the  principal  sources  of  the  :\Iissis- 
sippi  and  then  descended  the  river;  William  ^Morrison,  Avho  vis- 
ited Lake  Itasca  in  1802  and  is  usually  credited  as  tlie  discoverer 
of  the  source  of  the  ^lississippi ;  Henry  R.  Sclioolcraft,  who  in 
1832  explored  northern  ^Minnesota ;  George  Featlierstone,  who 
made  a  geological  survey  of  the  ^Minnesota  valley  in  1835;  George 
Catlin,  who  made  a  faitliful  study  of  the  Indians  of  Minnesota; 
Jean  Nicollet,  whose  activities  in  the  thirties  and  forties  con- 
tributed much  to  ^Minnesota  geography,  and  David  Dale  Owen, 
who  explored  large  portions  of  tlic  state  in  1847.  '48,  '4!)  ami  '50, 


and  whose  names  are  honored  as  the  early  explorers  of  Minne- 
sota, all  failed,  so  far  as  we  know,  to  make  Mower  county  a  visit. 
The  explorers  of  the  rivers  of  Iowa  which  have  their  source  in 
Mower  county,  also  failed  to  reach  this  county  in  the  early  days. 

It  is  possible  that  missionaries,  renegades,  traders  or  hunters 
visited  this  region,  in  the  days  of  the  early  exploration,  but  of 
this  historians  have  no  record  or  knowledge,  although  those  who 
enjoy  speculation  and  conjecture  think  it  quite  possible  the 
Frenchmen  from  the  posts  of  Perrot  on  Lake  Pepin,  the  stockades 
at  Frontenac,  or  the  forts  at  Prairie  Island  and  Mankato  may 
have  come  here  after  game. 

The  first  record  that  historians  have  obtained  of  a  visit  to 
Mower  county  by  the  whites  is  contained  in  a  manuscript  edited 
and  published  by  the  Iowa  Historical  Society,  and  entitled  "A 
Journal  of  Marches  by  the  First  United  States  Dragoons,  1834- 
45,"  and  published  in  the  July,  1909.  issue  of  the  "Iowa  Journal 
of  History  and  Politics." 

The  First  United  States  Dragoons  was  a  military  organization 
created  by  Congress  in  March,  1833,  for  the  more  perfect  defense 
of  the  frontier,  and  was  as  fine  a  body  of  men  as  had  ever  been 
gathered  for  a  similar  purpose,  having  been  recruited  from  espe- 
cially selected  men  in  every  state  in  the  Union  in  the  summer 
months  of  1833.  Tlie  commanding  officer  of  this  regiment  of  ten 
companies  were  Colonel  Henry  Dodge.  The  rendezvous  of  the 
regiment  was  Jetiferson  Barracks,  near  St.  Louis,  where  tlie  com- 
panies were  drilled  and  instructed  in  the  fall  of  1833. 

The  Journal  records  the  four  distinct  marches  or  campaigns 
in  which  Company  I  participated.  Of  these  the  fourth  only  is  of 
interest  to  the  people  of  IMower  county.  The  authorship  of  the 
Journal  has  not  yet  been  determined.  At  two  different  places 
the  author  has  signed  himself  as  "L"  and  he  states  that  he  was 
a  member  of  Company  I,  commanded  by  Captain  Browne.  At 
one  time  the  authorship  was  attributed  to  Colonel  Albert  ]\Iiller 
Lea,  but  internal  evidence  in  the  Journal  would  seem  to  prove, 
hoAvever,  that  such  is  not  the  case,  and  that  it  was  written  either 
by  an  officer  of  lower  rank  or  by  a  private. 

The  fourth  trip,  which  has  so  much  interest  to  the  people  of 
Mower  county,  records  the  story  of  a  march  of  1,100  miles  by 
Companies  B,  H  and  I,  under  Lieutenant-Colonel  Stephen  AV. 
Kearney.  On  June  7,  1835,  this  detachment  left  Fort  Des  ^loines 
and  marched  between  the  Des  Moines  and  Skunk  rivers  to  near 
the  mouth  of  the  Boone  river.  Then  taking  a  northeastwardly 
convse  across  Iowa,  they  entered  what  is  now  ^linnesota.  crossed 
Mower  county,  and  reached  AVabashaw's  village  on  the  ^lissis- 
sip])]  ;it  in-actically  the  present  site  of  Winona.  After  remaining 
tlici'c   a})Out   a    Avcek,   the   comiianics   marclied    somewhat   to   the 


soutli  of  westwardly.  They  crossed  the  present  ]\Io\ver  county 
and  continued  westward,  then  turning  southward,  and  entering 
Iov.\i  in  what  is  now  Kossuth  county,  reaching  tlie  Des  Moines 
river  safely.  After  crossing  this  river,  they  descended  it  on  the 
lower  side  and  reached  Fort  Des  Moines  on  August  19.  1835. 
without  the  loss  of  a  single  horse  or  man.  Lieutenant  Albert 
INIiller  Lea,  commanding  Company  I,  of  the  expedition,  was  the 
ofTicial  topographer,  and  in  his  honor  Nicollet  afterward  named 
a  previously  undesignated  lake  which  the  expedition  passed  in 
the  present  Freeborn  county. 

On  the  evening  of  Sunday,  June  28,  1835,  tlie  Dragoons,  on 
their  northeasterly  course  from  the  Des  Moines  river,  camped  on 
the  banks  of  the  Red  Cedar  river  in  Mitchell  county,  Iowa,  near 
Osage.  The  soldiers  killed  several  buft'alo  and  captured  a  buffalo 
calf.  The  next  day  they  crossed  the  Red  Cedar  and  marched 
twenty-five  miles,  bringing  them  well  into  Mower  county.  The 
following  entry  is  found  in  the  Journal:  "Tuesday,  June  30, 
1835,  marched  twenty-five  miles.  Land,  kind  of  oak  barren.  By 
the  appearance  of  some  deserted  wigwams,  we  suppose  the  Soux 
(Sioux)  have  been  here  lately."  The  next  day's  march  of  twelve 
miles,  carried  the  soldiers  out  of  the  coiinty  and  toward  the 
present  site  of  Winona. 

On  the  return  journey,  the  expedition  reached  ]\Iower  county 
on  ]\tonday,  July  27,  1835.  The  soldiers  crossed  the  upper  Iowa 
near  the  present  site  of  Le  Roy  and  the  Red  Cedar  near  the  pres- 
ent site  of  Austin,  continviing  on  their  way  into  the  present  Free- 
born county.  The  entries  in  the  Journal  are  as  follows:  "]\[on- 
day,  July  27,  1835.  An  early  start.  Came  only  ten  miles.  Crossed 
the  Iway  (the  upper  Iowa).  Spent  seven  hours  in  crossing.  Bad 
traveling  and  bad  encampment.  Tuesday,  July  28.  This  day 
we  marched  fifteen  miles.  Crossed  the  south  fork  of  the  Iway 
(now  the  Red  Cedar  river).  Spent  three  hours  in  passing. 
Marching  bad.  Encampment  good."  It  will  be  seen  from  this 
that  the  writer  of  the  Journal  underestimated  the  distance  that 
the  Dragoons  traveled  from  the  upper  Iowa  to  the  Red  Cedar 

In  1836,  one  year  after  the  trip  of  the  Dragoons,  and  six  years 
after  the  ceding  of  the  "Neutral  Strip"  (just  south  of  Mower 
county),  a  party  of  officers  started  on  a  hunting  trip  from  Fort 
Snelling.  They  reached  the  present  site  of  Faribault,  came  down 
the  source  of  the  Straight  river,  touched  tlu^  head  waters  of  the 
Zumbro  branch  east  of  Blooming  Prairie,  and  then  reached  the 
Red  Cedar,  passing  tlirough  what  is  now  Slower  county.  Some- 
where after  leaving  the  Zumbro,  and  l)efore  reaching  the 
"Neutral  Strip,"  they  camped  for  the  night,  and  from  the  loca- 
tions  given   in   TaliaFcrro's   jouiMiiil.   tlic    ciim])    must    have   b.'cii 


somewhere  neai'  what  is  now  Austin.  Tlie  party  was  headed  by 
Major  Lawrence  Taliaferro,  and  among  the  hunters  was  Dr.  John 
Emerson,  the  surgeon  at  Fort  Snelling. '  With  Dr.  Emerson  was 
his  slave  Dred,  who  had  just  been  married  to  Harriett,  whom 
Major  Taliaferro  had  sold  to  Dr.  Emerson.  This  Dred  afterward 
became  world  famous  in  the  "Dred  Scott  case,"  which  was  on;.- 
of  the  incidents  in  the  train  of  events  which  did  not  end  until 
tlif  close  of  the  Civil  Avar. 

A  party  of  famous  pioneer  hunters  visited  IMow^er  county  in 
1840.  In  the  fall  of  that  year  Henry  H.  Sibley,  Alexander  Fari- 
bault, William  H.  Forbes  and  John  C.  Fremont  started  with  a 
party  of  Sioux  and  two  Canadian  voyageurs  for  the  "Neutral 
Land"  which  the  government  had  purchased  from  the  Sioux,  the 
Sax  and  the  Foxes.  Jack  Eraser  joined  the  party  near  the  pres- 
ent city  of  Faribault.  The  party  reached  the  Red  Cedar  river 
somewhere  in  the  present  ]\Iower  county.  At  some  point  on  this 
river  a  camp  was  made,  and  Sibley,  Eraser  and  two  Canadians 
accompanied  Fremont  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  where  Jean  N.  Nicol- 
lett  aw^aited  him.  Leaving  Fremont  at  that  point,  the  four 
returned  to  the  camp,  being  accompanied  a  part  of  the  way  by 
a  hunter  named  Reed.  A  few  days  later  the  party  of  white  men 
left  the  Sioux  in  camp  on  the  Red  Cedar  and  returned  to 

In  October,  1841,  H.  H.  Sibley,  then  thirty  years  of  age,  was 
agent  at  Mendota,  across  the  river  from  Fort  Snelling,  Minne- 
sota, for  the  American  Fur  Company.  He  was  active  and  vigor- 
ous to  obtain  skins  and  peltries  for  the  company.  He  made  a 
feast,  invited  the  Sioux,  killed  two  fat  oxen  and  provided  wild 
rice  and  other  inducements  suitable  for  an  Indian  holiday.  Invi- 
tations had  been  sent  out  to  the  neighboring  villages,  and  nearly 
a  thousand  men,  squaws  and  children  came  to  the  feast.  After 
the  Indians  had  satisfied  their  hunger  and  had  smoked  his  tobacco, 
Sibley  explained  to  them  that  his  object  was  to  enlist  a  party  to 
go  to  the  south  that  coming  winter  and  hunt  on  the  neutral  ground 
and  around  the  headwaters  of  the  Red  Cedar.  Small  sticks  six 
inches  long  and  painted  red  were  produced  and  one  was  offered  to 
each  grown  hunter.  It  had  been  explained  to  them  that  whoever 
voluntarily  accepted  one  of  these  red  sticks  thereby  enlisted  for 
the  winter's  hunt.  About  one  hundred  and  fifty  men  thus 
enlisted.  These  men  then  assembled  a  short  distance  from  the 
scene  of  the  feast  and  chose  ten  of  their  number,  whom  they 
called  soldiers,  to  have  control  of  the  hunting.  These  ten,  after 
consulting  together,  announced  the  rules  to  govern  the  hunt  and 
notified  the  enlisted  men  to  appear  on  the  hill  south  of  j\Iendota 
in  six  days  thereafter  with  their  ponies,  squaws,  dogs  and  buffalo 
skin  tcnis  ready  to  start. 


At  the  appointed  time  the  party  assembled  and  started  south. 
The  chief  Indian  of  the  party  was  Little  Crow,  father  of  the  cliiei 
of  the  same  name  who  took  part  in  the  massacre  of  1862.  Tlie 
usual  day's  progress  was  about  ten  miles.  They  went  from  j\Ien- 
dota  south  over  the  prairie  until  they  struck  the  Cannon  river, 
near  Northfield,  then  up  that,  and  the  Straight  river,  by  Fari- 
bault and  Owatonna,  to  near  Cooleysville,  in  the  southeastern 
part  of  Steele  county.  There  they  crossed  over  to  the  Cedar  river 
and  came  down  its  right  hand  bank  to  the  timber  at  this  place, 
Austin,  or  a  little  south  of  here,  and  camped  for  the  winter. 

Sibley  was  with  them,  clad  in  Indian  costume,  with  double- 
barreled  rifle,  pistols  and  two  big  wolf  dogs  at  his  heels.  He  had 
with  him  two  French-Canadians  and  a  number  of  kegs  of  powder 
and  other  goods  on  carts,  to  sell  to  the  Indians  and  hold  claim 
to  the  furs  and  skins  which  the  hunt  should  produce. 

On  his  advice,  the  Indians  built  here  a  stockade.  Posts  with 
crotch  on  their  tops  were  set  firmly  into  the  ground.  Poles  were 
laid  on  top  from  post  to  post.  Then  other  posts,  ten  feet  or  more 
in  length,  Avere  set,  one  end  on  the  ground  and  the  other  leaning 
against  the  poles.  Brush  and  the  tops  of  trees  were  cut  and  piled 
by  the  squaws  with  great  industry,  outside  against  the  line  of 
posts  until  it  was  impossible  for  an  enemy  to  break  through  with- 
out consuming  a  good  deal  of  time,  all  the  while  exposed  to  the 
fire,  through  loopholes,  of  the  good  marksmen  within.  This  was 
the  first  structure  of  any  kind  built  in  what  is  now  Mower  county. 
Sibley  and  the  Indians  alike  put  small  trust  in  the  treaty  of  amity 
concluded  at  Prairie  du  Chien.  They  well  knew  that  such  treaties 
between  Indians  usually  end  in  treachery  and  bloodshed.  Now 
that  they  were  on  the  border  of  their  own  country  and  about  to 
hunt  over  the  neutral  ground,  where  in  fact  they  had  no  right, 
they  deemed  it  expedient  to  build  this  stockade  as  a  safeguard. 
There  was  a  great  abundance  of  game  on  this  neutral  ground,  as 
it  had  not  been  hunted  over  since  its  relinquishment  eleven  years 
before,  to  the  United  States,  by  the  treaty  of  July  15,  1830. 

One  day  Sibley  Avent  out  early  with  his  two  wolf  dogs  for  a 
still  hunt,  alone.  In  his  absence  Little  Crow,  always  reckless  and 
daring,  Avent  off  south,  down  toward  the  forks  of  the  Cedar,  near 
Avhere  Charles  City  now  stands,  for  a  three  days'  hunt  on  the 
border  or  even  over  the  line  in  the  enemies'  country.  He  took 
Avith  him  nearly  all  the  young  men  of  the  camp.  "When  Sibley 
returned  at  sunset,  the  squaAvs  told  him  of  Little  CroAv's  absence 
and  that  a  hostile  Indian  spy  had  been  seen  lurking  in  the  vicin- 
ity. He  at  once  sallied  forth  Avith  liis  dogs  to  verify  the  report. 
There  Avas  no  mistake,  for  in  the  light  snoAv  on  the  ground  he 
saAv  the  moccasin  tracks  of  the  spy.  He  armed  the  old  men  and 
boys   remaining    in   the    camp,    assigned    to    each    his    place    jind 


awaited  the  expected  attack.  About  three  o'clock  in  the  morn- 
ing, the  Indian  dogs  outside  began  to  bark  furiously.  The 
women  screamed  and  the  old  men  sang  their  death  songs.  Sibley 
ordered  silence  and  directed  that  every  pistol  and  gun  be  shot  oft' 
as  rapidly  as  possible  and  reloaded.  He  himself  fired  five  shots 
from  his  gun  and  pistols.  The  enemy  were  thereby  deceived  as  to 
the  number  of  fighting  men  in  camp  and  made  no  attack.  After 
sunrise  next  morning  the  ground  was  examined  and  it  was  appar- 
ent that  at  least  fifty  hostile  warriors  had  tied  their  horses  to  trees 
in  a  grove  at  some  distance  away.  An  Indian  boy  Avas  sent  with 
all  speed  to  Little  Crow's  camp  doAvn  the  river,  to  tell  the  news 
and  order  him  to  return  without  delay.  About  midnight  the 
hunters  returned  and  Sibley's  tense  nervous  anxiety  abated. 

At  the  close  of  each  day,  when  the  Indians  ca-me  in,  the  ten  so- 
called  soldiers  would  announce  the  direction  and  limits  of  the 
next  day's  hunt.  This  limit  would  be  about  ten  miles  away,  indi- 
cated by  a  stream  or  slough  or  a  grove  or  by  some  other  natural 
object.  Early  next  morning  some  of  these  soldiers  would  go 
forward  and  station  themselves  along  the  limit  line,  to  detect  and 
punish  anyone  who  should  attempt  to  pass  and  frighten  away  the 
game  beyond.  The  penalty  for  violation  of  the  rules  was  in  the 
discretion  of  these  ten  so-called  soldiers.  In  aggravated  cases 
they  would  slit  down  and  cut  up  the  offender's  lodge,  break  his 
kettles  and  do  other  damage.  This  enterprising  trader  (after- 
ward first  governor  of  this  state)  says,  in  his  narrative  of  the 
winter's  events,  that  on  one  occasion  he  inadvertently  got  beyond 
the  line  fixed  for  that  day's  hunt.  One  of  the  soldiers,  hid  in  the 
tall  grass,  sprang  up  and  rushed  upon  him,  seized  his  fine  double- 
barreled  gun,  snatched  his  fur  cap  from  his  head  and  ordered  him 
back  to  camp,  saying  lie  would  cut  up  his  tent  when  he  returned 
in  the  evening.  It  was  a  cold  day  and  Sibley  had  to  ride  bare- 
headed, ten  miles  to  camp.  The  soldiers  had  supreme  command  of 
the  hunting  and  all  its  rules  and  regulations.  It  was  considered 
very  disgraceful  for  any  one  whether  hunter,  trader  or  even  chief 
of  the  tribe  to  disobey  or  resist  these  governors  of  the  hunt.  On 
the  M^ay  in  he  devised  a  plan  to  mollify  the  soldiers  and  save  his 
fine  buffalo  skin  lodge.  He  got  together  all  the  good  things  he 
could  muster  and  when  the  soldiers  came  in  that  night,  he  went 
out  and  invited  all  the  ten  to  have  supper  with  him  in  his  lodge. 

The  temptation  was  too  strong  and  they  accepted,  ate  his 
supper,  smoked  his  tobacco  and  each  accepted  a  small  present  and 
agreed  with  him  to  overlook  for  once,  his  infraction  of  the  rules. 
His  cap  and  gun  were  restored,  and  as  they  say  in  diplomacy,  the 
incident  ended.  But  he  fiunigatead  that  cap  before  wearing  it 

The  hunt  was  successful.     Over  2,000  deer,  fifty  elk,  as  many 

HISTOKY  OF  MOAVEK  COUNTY  ,         43 

bears,  five  panthers  and  a  few  buffalo  skins  Avere  ol)taine(l.  Tlie 
fur  company  sold  for  $20  guns  tliat  cost  $6  in  St.  Louis.  They  got 
pay  not  in  money  but  in  furs,  at  their  own  price.  This  is  a  speci- 
men of  the  profits  of  the  fur  trade.  The  Indians  broke  camp  and 
returned  to  Mendota  in  March,  before  the  spring  thaw  rendered 
the  sloughs  and  streams  impassable. 

From  1849  to  1852  the  northern  boundary  of  Iowa  was  sur- 
veyed, the  Mower  county  portion  of  the  line  being  surveyed  by  a 
party  under  Captain  Andrew  Talcott  in  1852. 

The  First,  Second  and  Third  Guide  Meridians,  the  second  being 
just  east  of  Austin,  were  surveyed  by  the  late  Hon.  Thomas  Simp- 
son, of  Winona,  in  1853. 

The  First  Standard  Parallel,  which  forms  the  northern  bound- 
ary of  Udolpho,  Waltham  and  Sargeant,  was  surveyed  in  1853 
by  E.  S.  Morris. 

The  boundaries  of  townships  101,  102,  103  and  104  in  rajige  14, 
were  siirveyed  in  1853  by  John  Ball,  and  subdivided  into  sections 
the  same  year  by  John  Tylor. 

The  boundaries  of  townships  101,  102,  103  and  104  in  range  15, 
were  surveyed  in  1853  by  John  Ball,  and  subdivided  into  sections 
the  same  year  by  John  Quigley. 

The  boundaries  of  townships  101,  102,  103  and  104  in  range  16, 
were  surveyed  in  1853  by  John  Ball.  Andrew  Talcott  subdivided 
township  101,  range  16,  in  1854;  John  Quigley,  townships  102  and 
103,  range  16,  in  1853 ;  and  John  Fitzpatrick,  township  104,  range 
16,  in  1853. 

The  boundaries  of  townships  101,  102,  103  and  104,  in  range  17, 
were  surveyed  in  1853  and  subdivided  the  same  year.  In  town- 
ship 101,  range  17,  John  Ball  and  Andrew  Talcott  surveyed  the 
boundaries  and  C.  Phipps  and  E.  Fitzpatrock  surveyed  the  sec 
tion  lines.  In  townships  102  and  103,  range  17,  the  boundaries 
were  surveyed  by  John  Bell  and  E.  S.  Morris,  and  the  section 
lines  by  AVilliam  J.  Anderson.  In  township  104,  range  17,  E.  S. 
Morris  surveyed  the  township  boundaries  and  John  Fitzpatrick 
surveyed  the  section  lines. 

The  boundaries  of  townships  101,  102,  103  and  104,  in  range  18, 
were  surveyed  in  1854  and  the  section  lines  drawn  the  same  year. 
In  township  101,  range  18,  the  boundaries  were  surveyed  by  J.  B. 
Reymond  and  E.  S.  Morris  and  the  section  lines  by  AYilliam  A. 
Anderson  and  Andrew  Talcott.  In  township  102,  range  18,  the 
boundary  lines  were  siu'veyed  by  J.  B.  Reyman  and  E.  S.  ]\Iorris, 
and  the  section  lines  by  AVilliam  A.  Anderson.  In  townships  103 
and  104,  range  18,  the  boundary  and  sections  lines  were  surveyed 
as  in  township  102,  range  18,  l)y  the  same  persons. 

In  1872,  while  digging  a  well  on  Bridge  street,  L.  G.  Basford 
discovered  at  a  deptli  of  twelve  feet,  two  spherical  shells  of  iion. 


eio]!t  inches  in  circumference,  containing  coarse  white  sand  and 
Avhat  was  believed  to  be  evidences  of  black  powder.  No  authori- 
tative theory  has  ever  been  advanced  to  account  for  the  presence 
of  these  relies. 


Colony  of  the  Borderline  Between  Racine  Township  and  Fillmore 
Colony — Arrivals  in  Le  Roy  Township — Early  Settlement  in 
Lyle  and  Lansing — Settlers  of  1854 — Influx  of  Population 

The  first  settlement  within  the  present  limits  of  ]\Iower  county, 
of  which  tiiere  is  any  record,  was  probably  made  July  4,  1852,  in 
what  is  now  Racine  township,  section  1,  township  103,  range  14. 
by  Jacob  McQuillan,  Sr.,  and  his  party,  which  consisted  of  nine 
eldldren — of  whom  Jacob,  Jr.,  brought  his  wife  and  family — and 
a  son-in-law,  Adam  Zadyger.  At  that  time  no  survey  had  been 
made,  and  as  a  matter  of  fact  the  land  was  not  open  to  settle- 
ment, for  although  the  Indian  treaty  of  Mendota,  which  ceded  the 
land  to  the  whites,  had  at  that  time  been  signed  by  the  Indians, 
and  approved  with  amendments  by  the  senate,  the  amendments 
had  not  been  accepted  by  the  Indians,  nor  the  official  proclama- 
tion issued  by  the  president.  Upon  their  arrival,  the  party  camped 
by  what  is  now  known  as  the  Hamilton  spring.  Before  unhitch- 
ing his  team,  ]\Ir.  McQuillan  nailed  a  coffee  mill  to  a  tree,  as  a 
visible  sign  of  his  claim  to  a  homestead.  For  a  time  the  family 
lived  in  the  wagons,  later  they  took  up  their  abode  in  a  rude  cabin 
of  rough  poplar  logs.  Near  the  place  of  the  settlement  were  two 
springs,  some  ten  rods  apart.  Jacob  McQuillan,  Sr.,  took  the  Avest 
spring,  and  the  land  west  of  it,  while  his  son,  Jacob,  Jr.,  took  tlie 
land  east  of  this  line,  thus  including  in  his  property  the  most 
eastern  of  the  two  springs.  The  county  line  now  runs  a  few  rods 
to  the  eastward  of  the  line  between  the  claims  of  the  McQiiillans, 
Senior  and  Junior. 

In  1854  a  man  named  Booth  pre-empted  the  quarter  sectioii 
that  young  IMcQuillan  had  claimed,  the  claim  being  located  in 
what  is  now  Fillmore  county.  This  created  trouble,  and  a  force 
of  the  McQuillans"  friends  congregated,  well  armed,  to  put  the 
intruder  out  of  the  way.  Booth's  friends  gathered  to  meet  the 
opposition,  and  a  party  of  them  spent  the  night  in  readiness  for 
the  fray.    Tlie  ^IcQuillfui  party  sent  out  an  advance  guard,  which 


was  met  by  a  few  of  Booth's  friends,  near  tlie  present  site  o\' 
Hamilton.  When  the  McQuillan  party  discovered  tliat  Booth  ;iiu' 
his  friends  were  prepared  to  meet  them  and  defend  his  claim,  they 
soon  dispersed.  The  place  was  in  litigation  for  some  time,  nnd 
resulted  not  only  in  a  victory  for  Booth,  but  also  in  the  financial 
ruin  of  the  McQuillans.  This  land,  as  has  already  been  stated, 
was  just  over  the  line  in  Fillmore  county,  and  included  the  site 
of  the  village  of  Hamilton. 

Jacob  McQuillan,  Sr.,  occupied  his  claim  in  ]\Iower  county 
several  months  and  then  moved  to  Fillmore  county,  renting  his 
claim  to  Thomas  W.  Corey.  About  a  year  later  he  sold  his  Mower 
county  property.  He  improved  a  claim  in  Fillmore  county,  and 
there  lived  until  after  the  war.  At  the  age  of  seventy-three  he 
returned  to  Ohio,  and  there  died  shortly  afterward.  He  was  a 
powerful  man  with  an  iron  constitution;  very  kind  and  hospit- 
able, and  well  liked  generally,  though  he  was  uneducated,  and 
possessed  of  the  roughness  and  gruffness  of  the  typical  fore- 
runners of  pioneer  settlement. 

Thomas  W.  Corey,  already  mentioned,  made  the  second  set- 
tlement in  Racine  township  in  the  spring  of  1853.  He  was  a  native 
of  Massachusetts,  and  came  from  Illinois,  overland,  by  way  of 
Davenport  and  Decorah.  He  settled  on  the  McQuillan  claim  and 
erected  a  log  cabin,  18  by  22,  in  which  he  often  entertained  trav- 
elers, the  cabin  being  on  the  then  traveled  route  between  Decorah 
and  Mantorville.  The  charge  was  usually  forty  cents  for  two 
meals  and  lodging.  Their  postofflce  and  trading  point  was 
Decorah,  Iowa. 

After  a  time  Mr.  Corey  moved  across  the  line  into  Fillmore 
covinty  and  erected  the  first  hotel  in  Hamilton.  In  1880  he 
removed  to  Tennessee  and  died  there  two  years  later. 

The  second  point  of  settlement  in  Mower  county  was  also 
near  the  border  line.  In  1852  Isaac  Van  Houghton,  who  assisted 
in  surveying  the  boundary  line  between  the  state  of  Iowa  and  the 
then  territory  of  Minnesota,  was  much  pleased  with  the  vicinity 
of  what  is  now  Le  Roy  township.  A  year  later  he  induced  several 
of  his  fellow  citizens  of  Lansing,  Iowa,  to  join  him  in  a  colonizing 
venture.  Consequently,  some  time  during  the  summer  of  1853, 
Isaac  Van  Houghton,  George  Squires,  J.  S.  Priest,  ]\Ioses  Niles 
and  Isaac  Armstrong  came  to  the  extreme  soutlieastern  part  of 
Le  Roy  township.  Van  Houghton  claimed  the  southeast  quarter 
of  section  36  and  Squires  the  northeast  quarter  of  flu-!  same  sec- 
tion. Tliis,  however,  was  before  the  survey,  and  wlicii  the  lines 
were  laid  it  was  found  that  their  claims  were  on  scliool  lands  and 
not  subject  to  homestead  entry.  Armstrong  clainuHl  the  west  half 
of  section  33,  while  Priest  and  Niles  claimed  the  southeast  half 
of  section   35.     These   ehiims   ;ire   located   ni)pr()xiinately,    for,   as 


before  stated,  no  section  lines  were  drawn  until  later  in  the  year. 
All  five  of  these  claimants  sold  out  within  a  short  time. 

The  western  part  of  the  county  received  four  settlers  in  1853. 
"Hunter"  (H.  O.  or  0.  P.)  Clark,  who  settled  in  Lansing  town- 
ship ;  one  Woodbury  and  his  son-in-law,  Pinkerton,  who  settled  in 
Lyle  township,  and  Austin  Nichols,  who  settled  on  the  present  site 
of  Austin. 

Clark  took  a  claim  and  settled  in  the  northwest  quarter  of 
section  3-1,  in  Lansing  township.  He  built  a  log  cabin  a  short  dis- 
tance northeast  of  where  Oakwood  cemetery  is  now  located.  May 
8,  1855,  he  sold  his  claim  to  "William  Baudler  and  moved  west. 
The  last  seen  of  him  was  in  Idaho. 

One  Woodbury,  accompanied  by  a  son-in-law,  Pinkerton,  came 
to  Lyle  township  in  the  fall  of  1853  and  claimed  a  large  tract  of 
land  bordering  on  the  Red  Cedar  and  on  the  creek  that  bears  his 
name.  He  erected  a  log  cabin  on  the  northwest  quarter  of  sec- 
tion 33.  AVoodbury  sold  his  claim  in  June,  1855,  and  moved  to 
Olmsted  county. 

Austin  Nichols  hunted  along  the  Cedar  in  1852,  and  in  1853 
reached  the  present  site  of  Austin.  In  his  reminiscences  he  does 
not  state  whether  he  spent  the  winter  of  1853-54  here.  At  any 
rate,  he  drove  his  first  claim  stake  June  8,  1854. 

In  1855  the  real  influx  of  settlers  began,  and  from  then  until 
1860  the  pioneers  came  in  rapidly.  A  full  account  of  the  settle- 
ment of  the  various  localities  in  the  county  is  found  in  the  sepa- 
rate township  histories  in  this  volume. 



Mower  County  Included  in  Wabasha  and  Rice  Counties— Mower 
County  Created — Organized  by  Governor  Gorman — Commis- 
sioners Meet  at  Frankford — Old  Election  Precincts — Town- 
ship Boundaries. 

Mower  county  was  included  in  the  original  limits  of  AValiasha 
county  (then  spelled  Wabashaw),  which  was  one  of  the  nine 
counties  created  by  the  first  territorial  legislature. 

Governor  Alexander  Ramsey,  the  first  territorial  governor, 
arrived  in  St.  Paul,  May  27,  1849,  and  on  June  1,  1849,  issued  his 
first  proclamation.  June  11  he  issued  a  second  proclamation, 
dividing  the  territory  into  three  judicial  districts.  Mower  county, 
then  unpopulated,  was  included  in  the  third  judicial  district,  with 
Judge  David  Cooper  on  the  bench.  Court  for  this  district  was 
to  be  held  at  Mendota. 

July  7,  1849,  the  governor  issued  a  proclamation  dividing  the 
territory  into  seven  council  districts  and  ordering  an  election. 
Mower  county  was  included  in  the  seventh  district. 

The  first  session  of  the  legislative  assembly  of  the  territory  of 
IMinnesota  was  held  at  St.  Paul,  commencing  September  3,  1849. 

By  an  act  approved  October  27,  1849,  the  territory  was  divided 
into  the  counties  of  Washington,  Ramsey,  Benton,  Itasca,  Waba- 
shaw, Dakota,  Wahnahta,  Mahkahto  and  Pembina.  Only  the 
covinties  of  Washington,  Ramsey  and  Benton  were  fully  organ- 
ized for  all  county  purposes.  The  others  were  organized  only  for 
the  purpose  of  appointment  of  justices  of  the  peace,  constables, 
and  such  other  judicial  and  ministerial  offices  as  might  be  spe- 
cially provided  for.  They  were  entitled  to  "any  number  of  jus- 
tices of  the  peace  and  constal)les,  not  exceeding  six  in  numl)er, 
to  be  appointed  by  the  governor,  and  their  term  of  office  was 
made  two  years,  unless  sooner  removed  by  the  governor,"'  and 
they  were  made  conservators  of  the  peace. 

Wabashaw  county,  as  "erected''  by  tbe  act  of  October  27, 
1849,  comprised  practically  all  of  the  southern  part  of  the  ])n'S(Mit 
state  of  Minnesota.  Its  northern  boundary  was  the  parallel  I'liii- 
ning  through  the  mouth  of  the  St.  Croix  and  the  moutli  of  (ln' 
Yellow  Medicine  rivers;  its  southern  boundary  was  the  Iowa  line: 
its  eastern  the  ^Mississippi,  and  its  westci-ii  the  Missouri,  mikI  it 
also  included  the  big  peninsula  l)etweeii  the  .Missouri  jiikI  the  Hiir 
Sioux  rivci's,  ami   all   of  wlint    i.s  ;it   prcsciil    southeast cni   South 


Dakota.  Of  this  A'ast  county  the  present  ]\Iower  eovuity  was  a 

Chapter  1,  Bevised  Statutes  of  Minnesota  of  1851,  divides  the 
territory  in  Benton,  Dakota,  Itasca,  Cass,  Pembina,  Ramsey, 
AVashington,  Chisago  and  Wabashaw  counties  and  defines  their 
l)oundaries.  Under  the  revised  statutes,  all  the  territory  west  of 
the  Mississippi  river  and  east  of  a  line  running  from  jMedicine 
Bottle's  village  at  Pine  Bend,  due  south  to  the  Iowa  line,  was 
erected  into  a  separate  county  to  be  known  as  Wabashaw.  This 
included  in  Wabashaw  county  a  portion  of  what  is  now  Dakota 
county  as  well  as  all  the  present  counties  of  Goodhue,  AVabasha, 
Dodge,  Olmsted,  Winona,  Mower,  Fillmore  and  Houston.  The  line 
south  from  Pine  Bend  in  the  Mississippi  strikes  practically  the 
western  boundary  of  Mower  county,  the  exact  line  being  impossi- 
ble of  verification  as  the  Medicine  Bottle  tepee  were  differently 
located  at  various  times,  always,  however,  being  within  a  few 
rods  of  the  bend  in  the  river. 

Rice  county  was  created  by  act  of  the  territorial  legislature, 
March  5,  1853.  Section  7,  Chapter  15,  General  Laws  of  Minne- 
sota, 1853,  gives  the  boundaries  as  follows:  Beginning  at  the 
southwest  corner  of  Dakota  county,  thence  west  along  said  county 
line  to  Lake  Sakatah,  thence  south  to  the  Iowa  state  line,  thence 
east  along  said  state  line  to  the  southwest  corner  of  Fillmore 
coiiuty,  thence  along  the  west  lines  of  Fillmore,  Wabasha  and 
Goodhue  counties  to  the  place  of  beginning. 

It  will  thus  be  seen  that  the  starting  point  of  Rice  county, 
as  tlien  constituted,  was  at  the  "southwest  corner  of  Dakato 
county."  The  west  and  south  lines  of  Dakota  county  are 
described  in  the  act  as  follows:  "Beginning  in  the  Minnesota  at 
the  mouth  of  the  Credit  river,  thence  on  a  direct  line  to  the  upper 
l)ranch  of  the  Cannon  river,  thence  down  said  river  to  its  loAvest 
fork."  The  upper  branch  of  the  Cannon  river  is  the  Straight 
river,  and  consequently  this  boundary  line  of  Rice  county  started 
at  the  confluence  of  these  rivers,  at  the  present  site  of  Faribault, 
ran  southwestward  to  Lake  Sakatah ;  and  thence  south,  crossing 
Waseca  and  Freeborn  counties  about  on  the  range  line  between 
ranges  twenty-two  and  twenty-three,  to  the  Iowa  line.  Thence  it 
ran  along  to  the  Iowa  border  to  a  little  village  called  Granger  in 
township  101,  range  eleven,  Fillmore  county.  Thence  it  ran  in  a 
direct  line,  due  northwest  to  the  place  of  beginning. 

Rice  county  therefore  took  in  only  a  part  of  tlie  present  Rice 
<'()uiity.  11  iiichidcd  tlic  I'dur  castci-n  townsliips  in  Waseca  county, 
and  all  lint  llic  foui'  wcsIcimi  townsliips  in  Freeborn  county.  It 
;i]so  look  ill  i)rac1ically  all  of  Mower  and  Steele  counties,  about 
oiie-Hiii-d  of  Dodge,  a  \rvy  small  jioi'tioii  of  Fillmore  and  Good- 
line,  and  possibly  a   few  sections  in  Olmsted  eoniity. 

Ill  Kebniarv,  IS.')!,  the  government  sin-\'ey  having  been  made. 

H18T01?Y  OF  MOWER  C'OUXTY  49 

the  eastern  boundary  was  altered  somewhat  and  assumed  definite 
lines,  the  line  between  what  is  now  Fillmore,  and  that  part  of 
tlu^  then  Rice  county  which  is  now  Mower  county,  being  the  pres- 
ent boundary  between  ]\Iower  and  Fillmore  counties. 

February  20,  1855,  the  counties  of  Mower,  Brown,  Carver, 
Dodge,  Faribault,  Freeborn,  Olmsted,  Renville,  Steele,  Stearns 
and  AVright  were  created  by  the  legislature,  and  some  changes  of 
name  made  in  others.  Mower  county  included  townships,  101,  102, 
103  and  104,  north;  ranges  14,  15.  16,  17  and  18,  west  of  the  Fifth 
principal  meridian.  In  May,  1857,  sections  1  to  6,  inclusive,  in 
township  104,  ranges  14  and  15,  were  cut  off  and  added  to  Olm- 
sted county.  Since  then,  no  changes  have  been  made  in  the 
boundary  lines  of  the  county.  The  county  contains  453,120  acres, 
or  708  square  miles.  The  congressional  survey  was  made  in 
1853-54,  being  completed  in  February,  1854,  sufficiently  for  a 
definite  description  of  the  coimty  boundaries  by  the  legislature. 

March  1,  1856,  Governor  Gorman,  agreeable  to  the  act  of  the 
legislature,  and  upon  representations  made  to  him  that  Mower 
county  was  sufficiently  populated  to  warrant  its  being  duly  fur- 
nished with  county  government,  organized  the  county,  and 
appointed  a  temporary  board  of  county  ocmmissioners,  consisting 
of  George  "White,  Philip  Howell  and  William  Russell.  This  boara 
was  given  full  power  and  authority  such  as  usually  devolves  upon 
such  boards,  with  the  additional  duty  of  locating,  temporarily,  the 
county  seat. 

These  commissioners  met  April  7,  1856,  iu  the  village  of  Frank- 
ford,  and  presumably  located  the  county  seat  temporarily  in 
that  place.  They  appointed  officers  as  follows:  Register  of  deeds 
and  clerk  of  the  board  of  commissioners,  Timothy  M.  Chapman ; 
treasurer,  Lewis  Patchin ;  judge  of  probate,  C.  J.  Felch ;  surveyor, 
Moses  Armstrong ;  sheriff,  G.  AY.  Sherman.  These  Avere  the  only 
ofKcers  for  which  appointments  were  then  made. 


Tile  early  county  commissioners  divided  the  county  into  elec- 
tion precincts,  road  districts  and  school  districts.  The  old  elec- 
tion precincts  were  the  parents  of  the  present  townsliips  and  in 
many  cases  the  original  names  still  survive. 

Following  is  the  summary  of  the  precincts,  created  from  the 
time  of  the  meeting  of  the  first  elected  board  of  county  cominis- 
sioners,  April  7,  1856,  down  to  April  16,  1858,  when  the  t()wnshi])s 
of  the  county  were  defined  and  given  the  authority  to  mainlaiii 
local  government. 

Austin.  Originally  created  as  an  eh'ction  precinct  Ai>rii  7. 
1S56,  and  contained  at  tliat   liuie  the  present   lowns  of   Tidlpho, 


Waltliam,  Lansing,  Red  Rock,  Austin,  Windom.  Tjyle  and  Nevada. 
July  7,  1856,  the  boundaries  of  the  preeinct  were  curtailed,  and 
made  to  contain  the  south  halves  of  the  present  towns  of  Lansing 
and  Red  Rock,  and  all  of  Austin,  "Windom,  Lyle  and  Nevada. 
April  ]6,  1856,  it  was  still  further  curtailed,  leaving  only  the  south 
halves  of  Lansing  and  Red  Rock,  and  all  of  Austin  and  AVindom. 
April  16,  1858,  the  township  assumed  its  present  boundaries,  and 
was  duly  organized  May  11,  of  that  year. 

High  Forest.  Originally  created  as  an  election  precinct,  April 
7,  1856.  It  comprised  the  present  towns  of  Racine,  Pleasant  Val- 
ley and  Sargeant. 

Frankford.  Originally  created  as  an  election  precinct,  April  7, 
1856,  and  contained  at  that  time  the  present  towns  of  Dexter, 
Grand  Meadow,  Frankford,  Marshall,  Clayton,  Bennington, 
Adams,  Lodi  and  Le  Roy.  Le  Roy  was  cvit  ofif  July  7,  1856.  April 
27,  1857,  a  piece  was  taken  oft'  at  the  north,  and  Adams,  Lodi  and 
Clayton  were  also  cut  off.  April  6,  1858,  the  town  was  given  its 
present  name  and  boundary,  but  for  purposes  of  local  government 
all  of  the  present  Grand  Meadow  and  the  north  halves  of  Clayton 
and  Bennington  were  attached  to  it.  It  was  on  this  date  that 
Frankford  lost  the  six  sections  that  are  included  in  its  congres- 
sional township,  but  politically  belong  to  Racine.  The  northern 
half  of  Bennington  was  cut  off  from  Frankford  in  1860,  the  north- 
ern half  of  Clayton  in  1873  and  Grand  Meadow  in  1863. 

Red  Rock.  Originally  created  as  an  election  precinct,  July  7, 
1856,  out  of  what  had  previously  been  Austin.  At  the  time  of 
its  creation  it  consisted  of  the  present  towns  of  Udolpho,  Waltham 
and  the  north  halves  of  Red  Rock  and  Lansing.  The  southern 
part  of  what  is  now  Red  Rock  township  remained  in  Austin. 
April  27,  1857,  the  present  town  of  Udolpho  was  cut  off',  under 
the  name  of  Madison.  By  the  act  of  the  county  commissioners, 
April  16,  1858,  Red  Rock  assumed  its  present  boundaries,  but  all 
of  the  present  town  of  Dexter,  and  the  southern  part  of  Sargeant, 
was  attached  to  Red  Rock  for  purposes  of  township  government. 
According  to  the  records,  Dexter  was  then  known  as  Grand 
Meadow,  and  Sargeant  as  Beaubien.  In  1866,  Avhen  Waltham 
was  organized,  it  took  in  the  western  part  of  what  is  now  Sar- 
geant, but  whether  the  eastern  part  remained  attached  to  Red 
Rock  the  records  do  not  state.  At  any  rate,  Dexter  Avas  organ- 
ized in  1870  and  Sargeant  in  1873,  thus  leaving  Red  Rock  witli 
its  present  boundaries  and  government. 

Le  Roy  w;is  created  as  an  election  pr(M'inrt  July  7,  1856,  out 
of  Frankford,  with  its  present  boundaries.  April  27,  1857,  the 
present  towns  of  Lodi  and  Adams  were  added  to  it.  but  later  in 
the  same  day  Adams  was  <ulded  to  Six  I\Iile  Grove,  and  Clayton 
Avas  added  to  Le  Rov,  tliiis  livning  Li'  Kov  coiisisling  of  the  iii-cs- 


ent  towns  of  Le  Roy,  Lodi  and  Clayton.  April  KJ,  IS.IS,  tlic  Idwii 
assumed  its  present  boundaries,  but  Lodi,  and  the  southern  lialvcs 
of  Clayton  and  Bennington,  were  attached  to  it  for  government 
purposes.  Clayton  was  then  called  Providence,  and  Bennington 
was  then  called  Audover.  Bennington  was  cut  off  in  1860,  Clay- 
ton in  1873  and  Lodi  in  187-1,  leaving  Le  Roy  with  its  present 
boundaries  and  government. 

Six  Mile  Grove  was  created  as  an  election  precinct  August 
16,  1856,  out  of  what  had  previously  been  Austin.  It  consisted 
of  the  present  towns  of  Lyle  and  Nevada.  April  27,  1857,  th^- 
present  town  of  Adams,  which  up  to  that  day  had  been  included 
in  Frankford,  and  which  a  few  hours  earlier  in  the  day  had  been 
added  to  Le  Roy,  was  added  to  Six  Mile  Grove,  while  the  present 
toM^n  of  Lyle  was  cut  off  and  created  as  Cedar  City  election  pre- 
cinct. April  16,  1858,  Adams  and  Nevada  were  each  given  their 
present  names  and  boundaries,  and  Adams  was  annexed  to  Ne- 
vada for  purposes  of  local  government.  Nevada  was  organized 
in  1858.    Adams  was  cut  off  and  organized  1859. 

Madison  was  created  as  an  election  precinct  April  16,  1858, 
and  consisted  of  the  present  town  of  Udolpho.  It  was  created 
out  of  a  part  of  Red  Rock,  which  precinct  had,  in  turn,  been 
originally  a  part  of  the  precinct  of  Austin.  April  16,  1858,  the 
name  of  Madison  was  changed  to  Udolpho,  and  that  townslup 
assumed  its  present  boundaries.  "Waltham  and  the  northern  pi.'.rt 
of  Beaubien,  now  Sargeant,  were  attached  to  Udolpho  for  pur- 
poses of  local  government.  The  present  boundaries  and  goAern- 
ment  have  remained  unchanged  since  1866,  when  Waltham  was 

Cedar  City  was  created  as  an  election  precinct  April  27,  1857, 
and  comprised  the  present  township  of  Lyle.  Lyle  was  organized 
Avitli  its  present  boundaries  April  16,  1858. 

Hamilton  was  created  as  an  election  precinct  April  27,  1857, 
and  occupied  an  irregular  piece  taken  from  what  was  then  the 
precincts  of  High  Forest  and  Frankford,  and  consisting  of  por- 
tions of  what  are  now  the  towns  of  Pleasant  Valley,  Racine, 
•jrrand  Meadow  and  Frankford.  The  name  Hamilton  was  given 
lo  the  present  town  of  Racine  April  16,  1858,  but  on  .May  11  of 
Ihat  year  the  people  changed  it  to  Racine.  May  22,  1857,  the  tier 
of  six  sections  to  the  north  were  cut  oft'  and  added  to  Olmsted 
30unty,  and  on  April  16,  1858,  the  six  tiers  to  the  s(nith  were 
added  to  Hamilton,  now  Racine. 


On  April  16,  1858,  tlic  state  (•(nislilutiou  havin<r  Ix'cm  adoplcd. 
tl  e- (■>)^nt^    ('(iminissifjiicrs   iiu't    for   tlic   jJiirposc   of   dividing   the 


cGunty  into  townshij's.  On  May  22,  1857,  sections  1,  2,  3,  4,  5  and 
6,  in  township  10-i,  ranges  IJ  and  15,  had  been  cut  off  and  added 
to  Olmsted  county.  AA''ith  l]i]s  exception  Mower  county  w.'is  and 
is  a  parallelogram,  thirty  miles  by  twenty-four  miles,  compris- 
ing congressional  townships  101,  102,  103  and  104,  ranges  14,  15, 
in,  17  and  18.  AVith  the  exception  of  the  tier  of  six  sections 
in  tlie  northern  part  of  township  103,  range  14,  which  was  at- 
tached to  the  township  north,  the  townships  which  were  created 
to  the  number  of  tAventy  followed  the  congressional  division,  as 
follows:  Township  101,  range  14,  Le  Roy;  15,  Lodi;  16,  Adams; 
17,  Nevada;  18,  Lyle.  Township  102,  range  14,  Andover;  15, 
Providence;  16,  York;  17,  Brooklyn;  18,  Austin.  Township  103, 
range  14,  Frankford;  15,  Poplar  Grove;  16,  Grand  Meadow;  17, 
Red  Rock;  18,  Lansing.  Township  104,  range  14,  Hamilton, 
Weet;  15,  Farmington;  16,  Beaubien;  17,  AA^altham :  18,  Udolpho. 
It  will  thus  be  seen  that  the  name  Grand  ]\Ieadow  was  given  to 
Avhat  is  now  Dexter,  while  the  present  Grand  AleadoAV  Avas  then 
called  Poplar  Grove.  Lansing,  Austin  and  Lyle  were  ordered  to 
liHA^e  separate  and  distinct  organizations  for  tOAv^nship  purposes. 
The  olliers  Avere  grouped  in  various  Avays. 

Udolpho  Avas  organized  at  once.  To  it  Avere  added  AValtham 
and  the  northern  part  of  Beaubien,  now  Sargeant.  AValtham. 
then  consisting  of  the  present  town  of  AA^altham  and  the  Avestern 
half  of  the  present  toAA-n  of  Sargeant,  Avas  cut  off  and  organized 
in  ]866. 

Waltham  Avas  organized  in  1866  and  consisted  of  the  present 
toAvn  of  AValtham  and  the  Avestern  part  of  Avhat  is  noAV  Sargeant. 
Sargeant  Avas  cut  off  and  organized  in  1874. 

Sargeant,  Avhich  Avas  originally  known  as  Beaubien  and  then 
as  Stanton,  after  being  attached  in  part  successively  to  Udolpho, 
AValtham  and  Red  Rock,  Avas  organized  in  1873. 

Pleasant  Valley,  called  liy  the  county  commissioners  Farm- 
ington, was  ordered  to  ])e  attaclied  to  Hamilton,  uoav  Racine,  for 
government  purposes,  but  tlie  records  shoAv  tluxt  it  Avas  duly 
s('[)arat(>ly  organized  Alay  11,  1858. 

Racine,  called  by  the  county  commissioners  Hamilton,  or  more 
formally  Hamilton  AVest,  Avas  ordered  to  liave  Farmington,  noAV 
Pleasant  Valley,  attaclunl  to  it,  Init,  as  in  the  case  of  Pleasant 
A'^alley,  the  toAvn  Avas  organized  separately  and  distinctly  and 
Avith  its  present  boundaries  May  11,  1858. 

Lansing  Avas  organized  as  at  present  Alay  11,  1858. 

Red  Rock  Avas  organized  in  1858,  and  Grand  AleadoAV,  now 
Dcxlci',  and  th(>  southern  half  of  Beaul)ien,  noAV  Sargeant,  Avere 
ad  ached  to  it  for  townshii)  i)uri)OHes.  AVliat  Avas  then  Grand 
Alrjidow  Avas  organized  in  1870  and  is  now  Dexter.  AVImt  Avas 
ilieii   Heaubien  Avas  oi'gani/ed  in  1873  and  is  now  Sargeant. 


Dexter,  originally  called  Grand  ]\readow.  and  for  some  years 
attached  to  Red  Rock,  was  organized  in  1870. 

Grand  Meadow,  formerly  called  Poplar  Grove,  and  originally 
attached  to  Frankford,  was  organized  in  1862. 

F'rankford,  from  whose  congressional  township,  the  northern 
tier  of  sections  is  detached,  was  organized  in  1858  and  to  it  were 
attached  Poplar  Grove,  now  Grand  Meadow,  and  the  northern 
halves  of  Providence  and  Andover,  now  Clayton  and  Bennington. 
Grand  Meadow,  formerly  Poplar  Grove,  was  organized  in  1862 ; 
Clayton,  formerly  Providence,  in  1873,  and  Bennington,  formerly 
Andover,  in  1860. 

Austin  was  organized  in  1858  as  at  present. 

Windom  included  the  towns  of  Brooklyn  and  York  and  was  or- 
ganized in  1858.  Brooklyn  became  Canton,  then  "Windom.  York 
was  cut  otf  in  1870. 

Marshall,  originally  York  and  later  Beach,  was  organized  in 
1870,  having  previously  been  attached  to  what  is  now  AVindom. 

Clayton,  originally  called  Providence,  the  northern  half  of 
which  was  originally  attached  to  Frankford  and  the  southern 
half  to  Le  Roy,  was  organized  in  1873. 

Bennington,  formerly  called  Andover,  the  northern  part  of 
which  was  originally  annexed  to  Frankford  and  the  southern 
half  to  Le  Roy,  was  organized  in  1860. 

Lyle  was  organized  in  1858,  as  at  present. 

Nevada,  to  which  was  originally  attached  Adams,  was  organ- 
ized in  1858.    Adams  was  organized  in  1859. 

Adams,  originally  a  park  attached  to  Nevada,  was  organized 
in  1859. 

Lodi,  originally  attached  to  Le  Roy,  was  organized  in  Febru- 
ary, 1874.     For  a  time  the  town  was  known  as  Belleview. 

Le  Roy  was  organized  in  1858,  and  to  it  were  attached  the 
southern  halves  of  Providence  and  Andover,  now  Clayton  and 
Bennington,  and  all  of  Lodi.  Lodi  was  cut  oft'  in  1874 ;  Clay! on 
m  1873  and  Bennington  in  1860. 




Doing's  of  the  Consecutive  Boards  of  County  Commissioners — 
County  Officials — Registers  of  Deeds — Treasurers — Auditors 
— Sheriffs— County  Attorneys — Clerks  of  the  District  Court 
— Judges  of  Probate — Superintendents  of  Schools — County 
Buildings — Location  of  County  Seat — County  Court  House — 
County  Jail — County  Poor  Farm. 

Tiie  first  meeting  of  the  board  of  county  eonmissioners  ap- 
pointed by  Governor  Gorman,  was  held  in  the  village  of  Frank- 
ford,  April  7,  1856,  Frankford  having  been  established  as  the 
temporary  county  seat.  The  county  commissioners  present  were 
Phillip  Howell  and  George  White.  The  first  business  to  come  before 
the  board  was  the  appointment  of  the  first  county  officers,  which 
resulted  in  the  selection  of  the  following  named:  Timothy  M. 
Chapman,  register  of  deeds  and  clerk  of  the  board  of  county 
commissioners ;  C.  J.  Felch,  judge  of  probate ;  Lewis  Patchin, 
county  treasurer;  M.  K.  Armstrong,  county  surveyor;  G.  AA^.  Sher- 
man, sheriff  and  collector  of  taxes. 

The  precincts  created  were  named  High  Forest,  Frankford 
and  Austin.  High  Forest  embraced  ranges  l-i,  15  and  16,  of  town- 
ship lOJr.  Frankford  comprised  townships  101,  102  and  103, 
ranges  14,  15  and  16.  Austin  embraced  townships  101,  102,  103 
and  104,  ranges  17  and  18.  In  High  Forest  precinct  Thomas  Arm- 
strong was  appointed  justice  of  the  peace ;  Orson  Lyon,  consta- 
ble ;  John  Robinson,  assessor,  and  J.  S.  Stimson,  Nathan  Lyon  and 
Geo.  I.  Covin,  judges  of  election.  In  the  Frankford  precinct 
David  D.  Frazier  was  appointed  Justice  of  the  Peace ;  John  Far- 
quer,  constable ;  George  Hunt,  assessor ;  D.  D.  Frazier,  G.  AV. 
Sberman  and  Griffin  Frazier,  judges  of  election.  In  Austin  pre- 
cinct, Silas  Dutcher  was  appointed  justice  of  the  peace ;  L.  AA"a- 
tions,  constable;  Orlando  AVilder,  assessor;  J.  H.  Burns,  A.  B. 
A'^aughan  and  V.  P.  Lewis,  judges  of  election. 

Alay  30,  185(),  the  second  meeting  of  the  board  of  commission- 
ers was  held.  This  meeting  was  attended  by  tlie  full  board — 
Philip  llowcll.  chairman;  George  AVliite  and  AVilliam  Russell.  It 
was  found  that  certain  officers  appointed  at  the  previous  meeting 
had  failed  to  ([luilify,  and  in  consequence  of  this  Sylvester  Smith 
WHS  appointed  justice  of  the  peace  in  the  Austin  precinct;  AVash- 
ington  Mason,  assessor,  and  Charles  Ferris,  constable.  July  7, 
1856,  the  commissioners  again  met,  with  Phillip  Howell  chairman, 
George  AVhite  and  William  Russell,  present.     At  this  time  a  peti- 


tion  was  presented  from  W.  B.  Spencer  and  others,  asking  that  a 
new  election  precinct  be  created  under  the  name  of  LeRoy,  to 
comprise  township  101,  range  14.  The  petition  was  granted  and 
the  following  officers  were  appointed  for  the  new  precinct :  Sam- 
uel P.  Bacon,  justice  of  the  peace ;  William  B.  Spencer,  constable, 
and  Henry  Edmunds,  S.  P.  Bacon  and  AV.  B.  Spencer,  judges  of 
election.  At  the  same  session  the  precinct  of  Red  Rock  was  cre- 
ated in  response  to  a  petition  from  John  L.  Johnson  and  other.'-. 
It  then  embraced  the  north  half  of  township  103,  and  the  whole  of 
township  104,  ranges  17  and  18.  The  following  officers  were  ap- 
pointed: Moses  Mapes,  Andrew  Brown  and  Charles  F.  Hardy, 
judges  of  election,  and  Charles  F.  Hardy,  justice  of  the  peace, 
and  Hilliard  Tilton,  constable.  Opposite  this  entry,  regard- 
ing the  creation  of  Red  Rock,  on  the  record,  is  written 
the  word  "error";  but  as  nothing  is  found  in  the  record  to 
contradict  the  entry,  it  is  here  presented.  Several  school  districts 
were  created  at  this  time,  and  the  first  bills  against  Mower  county 
M'ere  allowed.  The  first  bill  was  that  of  Lewis  Patchin  for  $19  for 
services  as  road  commissioner.  From  a  report  made  to  the  board 
it  is  learned  that  in  1856  the  taxable  real  and  personal  property 
in  the  county  was  as  follows :  Frankford  district — personal  jDrop- 
erty,  $24,473 ;  real  property,  $233,855.  High  Forest  district— per- 
sonalty, $17,257 ;  realty,  $77,743.  Austin  precinct — personalty, 
$12,132 ;  realty,  $92,072.  Total  in  county,  $457,533.  The  amount 
of  tax  levied  by  the  commissioners  was  $2,287.60.  The  amount  of 
orders  issued  to  defray  the  expenses  of  the  county  was  $1,753. 

The  first  general  election  was  held  October  14,  1856,  at  which 
374  votes  were  cast,  and  the  following  officers  elected:  J.  M. 
Berry,  representative ;  R.  L.  Kimball,  register  of  deeds ;  J.  B. 
Yates,  sheriff';  S.  P.  Bacon,  treasurer;  M.  K.  Armstrong,  county 
surveyor ;  A.  B.  Vaughan,  judge  of  probate  ;  Dr.  0.  Allen,  coroner ; 
W.  B.  Spencer,  George  H.  Bemis  and  H.  C.  Blodgett,  commission- 

The  first  meeting  of  the  new  board  was  held  on  January  6, 
1857,  at  the  village  of  Frankford,  when  George  H.  Bemis  was 
chosen  chairman.  After  organizing,  the  board  adjourned  until 
the  following  day,  when  they  again  met.  At  this  session  the 
county  seat  question  came  up,  and  a  resolution  was  offered  by  H. 
B.  Blodgett  and  adopted  by  the  board,  locating  the  county  seat  on 
section  3,  in  Austin  village.  In  ]\Iarch,  1857,  the  county  com- 
missioners engaged  the  office  of  A.  S.  Everest,  in  Austin,  to  lie 
used  as  an  office  for  the  register  of  deeds,  and  a.  place  of  meeting 
ror  the  board.  At  the  same  meeting  Ormanzo  Allen  was  ap- 
pointed the  first  county  attorney  for  ]\Iower  county.  In  the  mean- 
time additional  election  pi-ecincts  had  been  created  under  the 
names  of  Six  ]\Iile  Grove,  Brownsdale,  ]\Iadison,  Cedar  Citv  and 


Hamilton.  July  G.  1857,  the  fouuty  seat  question  again  occupied 
the  attention  of  the  board,  and  a  resolution  was  passed  locating 
the  county  seat  in  block  23,  in  Davidson's  addition  to  Austin. 
The  total  valuation  of  real  and  personal  property  is  stated  as 
being  $1,108,304. 

The  board  of  county  commissioners  for  1858  consisted  of 
George  H.  Bemis,  W.  B.  Spencer  and  C.  F.  Hardy.  Mr.  Bemis  was 
again  elected  chairman.  On  January  5,  1858,  the  resignation  of 
M.  K.  Armstrong  as  county  surveyor,  was  tendered  the  board. 
April  16,  1858,  the  commissioners  organized  twenty  townships, 
but  attached  a  number  of  them  to  neighboring  ones  for  the  pur- 
pose of  township  government. 


In  1858  there  began  in  ^linnesota  a  system  of  county  govern- 
ment still  in  vogue  in  AVisconsin  and  other  states.  Under  this 
system,  the  county  was  governed  by  a  board  of  supervisors,  con- 
sisting of  tlie  chairman  of  the  board  of  supervisors  of  each  town- 

In  all  of  the  counties  then  organized  in  the  state,  this  board  of 
supervisors,  or  "Court,"  as  it  was  commonly  called,  met  in  the 
summer  of  1858,  and  it  is  supposed  that  such  a  meeting  was  held 
in  Austin,  but  no  record  has  been  preserved.  The  same  system 
was  in  operation  in  1860,  but  these  records  are  likewise  lost  in 
Mower  county.  The  minutes  of  these  two  boards,  that  of  the 
latter  half  year  of  1858  and  that  of  the  year  1859,  were  doubtless 
kept  in  a  separate  book,  and  then  mislaid.  The  present  commis- 
sioner system  came  into  being  in  1860,  and  the  county  conunis- 
sioners  of  jMower  county,  three  in  number,  met  in  January  of 
that  year.  Should  the  old  record  of  the  year  and  a  half  Avheu 
IMower  county  was  under  the  commission  system  ever  lie  l)i'ought 
to  light,,  it  will  be  of  untold  historical  value. 


In  1860  tlir  lioani  ronsistcd  of  Oi'inanzo  Allen  (chairman).  C. 
F.  Hardy  and  S.  P.  Bacon.  In  Sei)teinbcr.  1860,  i).  H.  Johnson, 
Jr.,  resigned  the  of^fice  of  county  auditor.  Ormanzo  Allen  re- 
signed as  chairman  of  the  l)oard,  and  was  ai)pointed  auditor.  S. 
P.  Bacon  was  elected  chairman  of  llic  lioai-d.  J.  Stewart  was 
elected  commissioner  to  fill  vacancy. 

On  New  Year's  day,  1861,  th(>  hoard  of  coimly  commissioners. 


for  the  ensuing  year  met  and  qualiticd.  Tlic  nicinlicrs  wci'c  Milo 
Frary,  Samuel  Looinis  and  J.  Stewart.  Tlic  l)()ai'<l  organized  l)y 
the  election  of  ]\Iilo  Frary,  chairman. 

On  January  7,  1862,  the  commissioners  convened  for  tlie  sixth 
annual  session.  At  this  time  the  board  consisted  of  G.  T.  Angell, 
R.  C.  Heath  and  6.  II.  Bemis.  The  last  named  was  elected  chair- 
man. In  February,  1862,  the  name  of  Brooklyn  township  was 
changed  to  Canton.  At  the  same  time  a  petition  was  presented 
from  the  legal  voters  ol!  township  103,  range  15,  asking  that  the 
territory  be  organized  as  Grand  Meadow  township.  The  petition 
Avas  granted.  On  August  13,  1862.  a  special  meeting  of  the  board 
Avas  held,  at  which  it  was  "resolved,  that  $50.00  be  paid  to  each 
and  every  volunteer  who  should,  before  August  20,  1862,  enlist  in 
the  sixth,  seventh  or  eighth  Minnesota  Regiments  and  be  credited 
to  Mower  county."     Later  tlie  time  was  extended  to  October  1. 

1862.  In  September  the  following  school  examiners  were  ap- 
pointed by  (he  board:  H.  T.  Parker,  for  the  first  commissioner 
district;  Richard  Hoppiu,  for  the  second,  and  A.  J.  Harris,  for  the 

The  seventh  annual  session  of  the  board  began  on  January  6, 

1863.  The  board  was  composed  of  R.  C.  Heath,  G.  T.  Angell  and 
Alanson  Beach,  the  latter  being  the  newly  elected  member.  Mr. 
Beach  was  elected  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year.  The  second 
day  of  the  session  the  board  divided  the  county  into  military  dis- 
tricts as  follows:  First,  to  be  composed  of  the  townships  of 
Adams  and  Nevada;  second,  Lyle,  Windom  and  Austin;  third, 
Lansing;  fourth.  Red  Rock  and  Udolpho;  fifth.  Pleasant  Valley 
and  Grand  Meadow ;  sixth,  Racine ;  seventh,  Frankford  and  Ben- 
nington; eighth,  LeRoy.  Bennington  township  was  ordered  or- 
ganized at  the  same  time.  In  September,  1863,  the  commission- 
ers appointed  the  following  school  examiners:  J.  B.  Talhnan.  C. 
F.  Hardy  and  Saekett  Sears. 

On  January  5,  1864,  the  board  convened  for  the  eightl;  annual 
session.  Charles  N.  Stimson  had  been  elected  to  succeed  R.  C. 
Heath,  so  the  commissioners  for  the  ensuing  year  were  Alanson 
Beach,  W.  B.  Spencer  and  C.  N.  Stimson.  Alanson  Beach  was 
elected  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year.  J.  B.  Tallman  was  ap- 
pointed superintendent  of  common  schools  of  Mower  county,  at 
an  annual  salary  of  $100;  to  hold  his  office  one  year  from  Septem- 
ber 1,  1864.  On  ]\Iay  2,  1864,  the  board  of  commissioners  voted 
"to  allow  each  volunteer  soldier  who  had  gone  into  the  service  of 
the  United  States  and  been  accredited  to  ]\Iower  county,  the  sum 
of  $100;  and  for  eacli  veteran  soldier  who  has  gone  or  may  go, 
$100  nu)re;  provided  that  no  bounty  shall  be  issued  to  deserters; 
that  the  anu)unts  already  drawn  as  bounty  he  deducted  from  the 
$100;  provided  further,  that  no  soldier  who  has  been  discharged 


from  service  shall  receive  a  bounty,  unless  he  has  been  permanent- 
ly disabled  while  in  service."  "Provided  further,  that  where 
towns  have,  during  the  last  year,  paid  a  bounty  of  $100  to  soldiers, 
the  bounty  from  ^Mower  county  shall  be  paid  to  the  towns  instead 
of  the  soldiers ;  or  if  the  said  towns  have  paid  soldiers  any  fraction 
of  the  $100,  then  the  town  shall  receive  the  fraction  and  the  sol- 
diers the  balance." 

January  8,  1865,  the  board  convened  pursuant  to  law  for  its 
ninth  annual  session.  W.  E.  Harris  had  been  elected  commission- 
er to  succeed  W.  B.  Spencer,  so  that  the  board  for  the  ensuing 
year  was  composed  of  Alanson  Beach,  C.  N.  Stimson  and  AV.  E. 
Harris.  No  record  is  found  of  the  election  of  a  chairman.  In 
September,  1865,  Ormanzo  Allen  tendered  his  resignation  as 
county  auditor,  which  was  accepted,  and  II.  iM.  Allen  was  ap- 
pointed to  fill  the  vacancy.  At  about' the  same  time  Charles  N. 
Stimson,  one  of  the  commissioners,  sent  in  his  resignation,  and  the 
judge  of  probate,  register  of  deeds  and  county  auditor  appointed 
C.  F.  Hardy,  of  Red  Rock  township,  to  fill  the  vacancy.  J.  B. 
Tallman  was  appointed  county  superintendent  of  schools,  for  one 
year,  commencing  January  1,  1866.  His  salary  was  fixed  at  .$;300 
per  year.  C.  J.  Short,  the  county  attorney,  was  allowed  an  annual 
salary  of  $100. 

At  the  annual  meeting  which  commenced  January  2,  1866, 
there  were  present  Alanson  Beach,  C.  F.  Hardy  and  AVilliam  E. 
Harris.  ]\Iessrs.  Beach  and  Hardy  were  the  newly  elected  mem- 
bers. Alanson  Beach  was  chosen  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year. 
The  first  business  to  come  before  the  board  was  the  offering  of  a 
reward  for  the  apprehension  of  Patrick  ]\IcEntee,  who,  December 
18,  1865,  had  murdered  I.  AV.  Padden.  A  reward  of  $400  was 
offered.  At  this  session  the  board  voted  to  allow  A.  B.  Alorse. 
rharles  E.  AVhite  and  Thomas  Talbot  the  sum  of  $50  each  as  sol- 
diers' bounty,  their  names  not  appearing  upon  the  adjutant  gen- 
eral's list  of  credits.  At  the  same  time  township  104,  range  17, 
and  the  west  half  of  township  104,  range  16,  was  set  off  as  A\'al- 
tham  township,  and  civil  organization  was  authorized.  On  Sept- 
ember 5,  1866,  Sherman  Page,  of  Austin,  was  appointed  Superin- 
tendent of  schools.    His  salary  was  fixed  at  $400  per  annum. 

Oil  January  11,  1867,  the  l)oard  of  county  commissioners  (net 
in  Miiiiual  session  pursuant  to  law,  at  the  auditor's  office  in  Austin. 
K.  .1.  Slimsoii,  the  commissioiicr-cl('<-t  succeeding  0.  F.  Hardy, 
(|u:ililit(l,  aiKJ  look  his  seat.  Tiu'  lioard  for  the  year  consisted  of 
Alan.son  lieacli,  AVilliam  E.  Harris  and  E.  J.  Stimson.  Alanson 
Beach  was  elected  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year.  In  Septemlier. 
Slicrman  Page  was  re-appointed  superintendent  of  scIukJs.  His 
sahiry  was  fixed  at  the  same  amount  as  in  tlie  preceding  year. 

January  7,  1868,  the  l)oard  nu>t  for  their  twelftii  amiual  ses- 


sion.  At  this  time  the  members  were  Alanson  Beaeli,  E.  J.  Stim- 
son  and  Joseph  McKnight.  The  last  named  was  the  member-elect 
succeeding  William  E.  Harris.  Mr.  Stimson  was  elected  chairman, 
but  in  April  resigned  and  A.  Beach  was  elected.  At  this  session 
the  board  divided  the  county  into  five  commissioner  districts  in 
place  of  the  former  three,  it  being  found  that  there  were  a  suffi- 
cient number  of  votes  to  entitle  a  representation  on  the  county 
board  of  two  additional  members.  The  districts  as  then  set  oft' 
comprised  territory  as  follows:  District  No.  1,  embraced  Udol- 
pho,  Red  Rock,  Waltham  and  Pleasant  Valley  townships,  E.  J. 
Stimson.  District  No.  2,  embraced  Racine,  Frankford  and  Grand 
Meadow  townships,  D.  P.  Putney.  District  No.  3,  was  composed 
of  Adams,  LeRoy  and  Bennington  townships,  J.  H.  ]\IcKnight. 
District  No.  4,  embraced  Lyle,  Nevada  and  Windom  townships, 
Alanson  Beach.  District  No.  5,  embraced  Austin  and  Lansing 
townships,  George  AV.  Bishop.  At  the  same  session  the  board 
directed  the  sheriff  to  offer  a  reward  of  $500  each  for  the  appre- 
hension of  Oliver  Potter  and  AVilliam  Kemp,  two  of  the  supposed 
murderers  of  Chauncey  Knapp.  At  the  March  session,  1868,  D. 
P.  Putney  and  George  AY.  Bishop,  members-elect  from  the  ncAvly 
created  districts,  appeared  and  qualified.  At  the  same  meeting  a 
committee,  consisting  of  J.  McKnight  and  G.  W.  Bishop,  was  ap- 
pointed to  examine  farms  that  had  been  offered  the  county  as  a 
poor  farm.  This  matter  culminated  on  ]March  14,  Avhen  it  was 
A^oted  to  accept  Mr.  Caswell's  proposition  to  sell  his  farm  in  Le- 
Roy township  to  the  county  for  a  poor  farm,  and  also  to  buy 
eighty  acres  of  W.  Hayes,  adjoining  the  Caswell  farm,  at  $23  per 
acre.  On  April  9,  it  was  resolved  "that  the  register  of  deeds  be 
instructed  to  take  the  necessary  steps  to  transfer  all  records  of 
deeds  and  mortgages  (not  satisfied)  now  recorded  in  Houston 
county,  Minnesota,  on  lands  lying  in  Slower  county,  to  the  records 
of  this  county."  At  this  meeting  bids  were  received  for  the  erec- 
tion of  a  new  county  building,  and  that  of  D.  J.  Tubbs  being  the 
lowest,  the  contract  was  awarded  to  him  in  the  sum  of  $6,450.  A 
building  committee  was  appointed,  consisting  of  ^lessrs.  Beach. 
Stimson  and  Bishop.  The  building  was  to  be  completed  September 
5,  1868.  On  September  11,  the  commissioners  passed  a  resolution, 
declaring  tliat  they  had  the  greatest  confidence  in  the  integrity 
and  efficiency  of  the  county  officials.  In  October,  Sheldon  T.  ()tis 
was  appointed  county  superintendent  of  scliools  for  the  ensuing 

On  January  5,  1861),  the  l)()ar(l  iiu't  in  annnal  session.  Alanson 
Beacli,  I).  1'.  Putney  and  George  W.  Bishop,  commissioners-elect, 
qualified.  Tlie  members  holding  over  were  Josepli  McKnight  an<l 
K.  J.  Stimson.  Alanson  Beach  was  cho.sen  chairman  for  the  ensil- 
ing yeai'.     On  ]March  13,  18()!),  Sylvester  Smitli  resigned  tlu^  office 


of  county  treasurer,  and  Solomon  Snow,  the  treasurer-elect,  was 
appointed  to  fill  the  unexpired  term. 

On  January  4,  1870,  the  Board  convened  for  their  annual  ses- 
sion, with  Alauson  Beach,  G.  W.  Bishop,  D.  P.  Putney  and  J.  Mc- 
Knight,  members  holding  over,  present.  John  P.  AVilliams,  the 
member-elect  from  the  first  district,  qualified  and  took  his  seat 
Avith  the  board.  Alanson  Beach  was  unanimously  chosen  chair- 
man for  the  ensuing  year.  In  May,  1870,  the  township  of  Dexter 
was  created  and  ordered  organized.  It  embraced  Congressional 
tOAvnship  103,  range  1(J.  At  the  same  time  township  102,  range  16, 
was  set  off  and  "ordered  organized  as  Beach  township.  In  Decem- 
ber, 1870,  II.  E.  Turner  presented  his  credentials  as  member-elect 
of  the  board,  and  qualified.    He  succeeded  ^Ir.  AYilliams. 

On  January  S,  1871,  the  board  met  in  annual  session,  pursuant 
to  law.  At  this  time  the  following  named  gentlemen  were  mem- 
bers :  Alanson  Beach,  H.  E.  Tanner,  C.  J.  Felch,  G.  AV.  Bishop  and 
E.  F.  IMcKee.  Alanson  Beach  was  chosen  chairman  for  the  ensuing 
year.  In  February,  G.  AY.  Bishop  resigned,  and  was  succeeded  by 
^Y.  AI.  Howe.  On  June  26,  1871,  a  special  meeting  of  the  board 
was  held  at  which  it  was  decided  to  bring  legal  action  against 
Sylvester  Smith,  former  treasurer  of  the  county,  for  alleged  irreg- 
ularities in  connection  Avith  the  county  finances.  This  was  a  mat- 
ter which  for  a  ninnber  of  years  agitated  the  county.  In  justice 
to  .Mr.  Smith,  it  should  be  stated  in  this  connection  that  his  honor 
and  integrity  came  out  unscathed  from  the  long  and  bitter  litiga- 
tion which  followed.  In  September,  L.  Bourgard  presented  his 
resignation  as  county  attorney,  and  E.  O.  AVheeler  was  appointed 
to  fill  the  vacancy. 

On  January  2,  1872,  the  board  met  in  annual  session.  A.  C. 
Bisbee,  commissioner-elect  from  the  fourth  district,  qualified.  The 
board  for  tiie  ensuing  year  was  composed  of  C.  J.  Felch,  AV.  M. 
Hov.-e,  II.  E.  Tanner,  E.  F.  McKee  and  A.  C.  Bisbee.  Organization 
Avas  effected  by  the  election  of  C.  J.  Felch,  chairman. 

The  annual  meeting  for  187."}  commenced  on  January  7.^  11.  E. 
Tanner  had  been  re-elected  from  the  first  district,  so  the  board  re- 
mained as  before,  the  members  being  C.  J.  Felch,  AV.  M.  Howe,  A. 
C.  Bisbee,  E.  F.  iMcKee  and  II.  E.  Tanner.  C.  J.  Felch  was  elected 
chairman  for  the  ensuing  year. 

On  September  3,  1873,  township  104,  range  l(i,  t'oi'nici'Iy  known 
as  Beaubien,  was  set  off  and  ordered  organized  as  tlie  civil  town- 
sliip  Stanton.  Clayton  township  was  created  at  tlie  same  time, 
comprising  lownsliip  102,  range  15,  fornu'rly  known  as  Provi- 

On  January  6,  1S74,  llir  hoard  met  again  in  annual  session.  C. 
J.  F(4cli  liad  1 n  rc-rlrrfd.     Tlic  iii.'nilins  liolding  over  were  AV. 


M.  Howe,  H.  E.  Tanner,  A.  C.  Bisbee  and  James  Grant.  C.  J. 
Felch  was  elected  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year.  On  ]\Iareh  19, 
1874',  E.  F.  Morgan,  of  LeRoy  township,  was  appointed  superinten- 
dent of  schools  for  the  ensuing  year.  In  July,  Lafayette  French  was 
appointed  county  attorney  to  fill  a  vacancy.  At  the  same  meet- 
ing in  response  to  a  circular  from  the  governor,  the  board  appro- 
priated $500  from  the  county  funds,  for  the  relief  of  grasshopper 

On  January  5,  1875,  the  board  of  commissioners  met  in  annual 
session,  with  the  following  as  its  members:  C.  J.  Felch,  II.  E. 
Tanner,  James  Grant,  \Yilliam  Richards  and  R.  J.  French.  C,  J. 
Felch  was  elected  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year. 

The  board  of  county  commissioners  for  1876  was  composed  of 
C.  J.  Felch,  \Yilliam  Richards,  James  Grant,  A.  J.  French  and  F. 
W.  Kimball.  AYilliam  Richards  was  elected  chairman  of  the 
board  at  the  annual  meeting  January  4,  1876.  On  June  14,  1876, 
the  following  resolution  was  adopted  by  the  board  of  county 
commissioners :  Resolved,  That  the  sum  of  $100  or  so  much  there- 
of as  may  be  necessary  be  set  apart  for  the  purpose  of  collecting 
and  preparing  a  statistical  history  of  IMower  county,  in  accord- 
ance with  the  proclamation  of  the  president.  Messrs.  Richards 
and  French  were  appointed  a  committee  to  carry  out  the  inten- 
tion of  the  board. 

The  annual  session  for  1877  began  on  January  2.  At  tliis 
time  the  members  were  "William  Ricliards,  A.  J.  French,  F.  W. 
Kimball,  G.  W.  Allen  and  W.  B.  Spencer.  AYilliam  Richards  was 
elected  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year.  During  the  summer  1877, 
O.  C.  La  Bar  succeeded  Commissioner  Kimball. 

For  the  year  1878,  the  board  consisted  of  AYilliam  Richards, 
G.  W.  Allen,  W.  B.  Spencer,  0.  C.  La  Bar  and  M.  M.  Trowbridge. 
"William  Richards  was  elected  chairman  on  January  1,  1878,  for 
the  ensuing  year. 

The  annual  session  of  1879  began  January  7.  wluni  the  board 
organized,  by  the  election  of  "William  Richards,  chairman.  Tlie 
board  was  composed  of  AYilliam  Richards,  O.  C.  La  Bar,  G.  W. 
Allen,  "W.  B.  Spencer  and  ^M.  ^I.  Trowbridge.  P.  T.  :\lclntyre,  in 
August,  1879,  was  appointed  county  treasurer  to  .succeed  I.  Ing- 
mundson,  deceased. 

On  January  6,  1880,  the  board  met  in  regular  session,  with  the 
following  named  as  members:  "William  Richards,  M.  ]\I.  Trow- 
bridge, 0.  C.  La  Bar,  O.  AV.  Case  and  AV.  B.  Mitson.  Mr.  Rich- 
ards was  chosen  chairman.  'Slv.  Case  died  in  ^lay,  1880,  and 
Charles  L.  Schro^ler,  of  Racine,  was  appointed  to  fill  the  vacancy. 

On  January  4,  1881,  the  board  met  and  organized  for  tlie  ensu- 
ing year,  by  electing  O.   C.   La  Bar,   chairman   for   the   ensuing 


year.  The  members  of  the  l)oard  of  commissioners  at  this  time 
were :  O.  C.  La  Bar,  AY.  B.  Mitson,  R.  A.  Donaldson,  O.  Avers 
and  Hans  C.  Anderson. 

The  board  for  1882  was  composed  of  AY.  B.  Mitson,  II.  C. 
Anderson,  Oscar  Ayers,  J.  B.  Graves  and  R.  A.  Donaldson.  AV.  B. 
INIitson  was  elected  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year. 

At  the  annual  session  which  began  January  2,  1883,  the  fol- 
.  lowing  were  the  members :  Oscar  Ayers,  H.  C.  Anderson,  J.  B. 
Gravfs,  C.  L.  Schntder  and  John  Gilligan.  Oscar  Ayers  was 
chosen  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year. 

On  New  Year's  day,  1884,  the  board  convened  for  tlieir  annual 
session.  Oscar  Avers  was  elected  chairman  for  the  ensuing  year. 
Tlie  iiienibers  were:  Oscar  Ayers,  H.  C.  Anderson,  J.  B.  Graves, 
C.  L.  Schra^der  and  John  Gilligan. 

In  January,  1885,  the  l)oard  consisting  of  H.  C.  Anderson,  J.  B. 
Graves,  C.  L.  Sehnrder,  John  Gilligan  and  Oscar  Ayres,  met  and 
named  the  latter  as  chairman. 

Since  1885,  the  commissioners  have  been  elected  as  follows: 
1886— P.  Christ gau,  C.  H.  Lockwood,  AY.  AY.  Sweet,  John  Beach, 
E.  C.  Dorr.  1888— AY.  T.  Johnson,  C.  H.  Lockwood,  AY.  AY.  Sweet, 
John  Beach,  A.  E.  Christie.  1890— N.  T.  Johnson,  AYilliam 
Brown,  W.  AY.  Sweet,  John  Beach,  A.  E.  Christie.  1892— INI. 
Stephenson,  AYilliam  Brown,  AY.  AY.  Sweet,  John  Beach,  J.  AY.  C. 
Dinsmoor.  1894 — AI.  Stephenson,  AYilliam  Brown,  AY.  AY.  Sweet, 
K.  Amundson,  J.  AY.  C.  Dinsmoor.  1896 — AI.  Stephenson,  AYilliam 
Brown,  Frank  E.  Hambrecht,  K.  Amundson,  J.  AY.  C.  Dinsmoor. 
1898 — M.  Stephenson,  AYilliam  Brown,  Frank  E.  Hambrecht,  K. 
Amundson,  J.  AY.  C.  Dinsmoor.  1900 — AI.  Stephenson,  AYilliam 
Brown,  Frank  E.  Hambrecht,  K.  Amundson,  Joseph  Keenan.  1902 
— AI.  St(^phenson,  AV.  P.  Lewis,  Frank  E.  Hamlirecbt,  P.  O'AIalley. 
Joseph  Keenan.  1904- D.  L.  Tanner,  AV.  P.  Lewis,  Frank  E.  ILim- 
l)reciit,  John  R.  Johnson,  AVilliam  Ciiristie.  1906 — D.  L.  Tanner. 
AV.  H.  Goodsell,  Frank  E.  Hambrecht,  John  R.  Johnson,  William 
Christie.  1908— Cliarles  L.  Schwartz,  AV.  II.  (Joodsell,  Frank  E. 
Hambrcclil,  Jolui  H.  Johnson,  AYilliam  Christie.  1910— Charles 
L.  Schwartz,  W.  II.  Goodsell,  Frank  E.  IIainl)recht,  John  R.  John- 
son. William  Christie. 

The  (Miuiily  commissioners"  districts  are  at  present  divided  as 
Follows:  1,  Dexter,  Sargeant,  AYaltham,  Udolpho  and  Red  Rock; 
2,  Frankford,  Hacine,  Pleasant  Valley  and  (irand  .Meadow;  .'?,  Le- 
Roy,  Bennington,  Lodi  and  Adams;  4,  .Marshall,  Wiiidnm.  Nevada 
and  Lvle;  T),  Austin  and  iiansing. 

HISTORY  OF  :\I()\VKI{  ("Or.NTV 


Following  is  a  list  of  the  elective  ofticei's  ol'  .Mower  coiiuty, 
since  its  organization  in  1856 : 

Auditor — The  office  of  county  auditor  was  cr-ciilcii  to  take  ct- 
fect  in  1859.  The  business  now  performed  liy  liiiii.  Iiad  liccii  |)ci-- 
formed  prior  to  that  date  by  the  register  of  deeds  and  clerk. 
The  auditors  have  been  as  follows:  D.  B.  Johnson,  Jr.,  1859-18fiO; 
Ormanzo  Allen,  1860-1865;  H.  M.  Allen,  1865-1871,  Henry  M. 
Shook,  to  fill  vacancy;  J.  P.  Williams,  1871-1875;  P.  T.  McTntyre, 
1875-1879;  J.  M.  AVyckoff,  1878-1880;  II.  AV.  Elms,  1880-1887;  C. 
H.  Wilbour.  1887-1893;  R.  L.  Johnson,  1893-1903;  George  Robert- 
son, 1903-1913.    The  deputy  at  the  present  time  is  C.  H.  Wilbour. 

Treasurer — Lewis  Patchin,  1856-1857  (appointed)  ;  S.  P. 
Bacon,  1857-1858;  A.  S.  Everest,  1858-1860;  T.  J.  Lake,  1860-1862; 
Sylvester  Smith,  1862-1869;  Solomon  Snow^  1869-1870;  J.  S. 
Irgens,  1870-1874;  I.  Ingraundson,  1874-1879;  P.  T.  Mclntyre, 
1879-1881 ;  G.  L.  Case,  1881-1887  ;  A.  Requa,  1887-1893 ;  G.  Seebach, 
1893-1903;  S.  A.  Smith,  1903-1913. 

Register  of  Deeds — Timothy  M.  Chapman,  1856-1857  (ap- 
pointed) ;  R.  L.  Kimball,  1857-1858;  David  Blakely,  1859-1861; 
Solomon  Snow,  1861-1869;  R.  L.  Hathaway.  1869-1871 ;  George  AV. 
Robinson,  1871-1875 ;  AVilliam  IM.  Howe,  1875-1882 ;  ^I.  I\I.  Trow- 
bridge, 1882-1887;  Eugene  AVood,  1887-1913. 

Sheriff— G.  AV.  Sherman,  1856-1857;  J.  B.  Yates,  1857-1859; 
George  AV.  Bishop,  1859-1861;  E.  D.  Fenton,  1861-1865;  AV.  F. 
Gruramons,  1865-1867;  D.  J.  Tubbs,  1867-1869;  Allan  iMollison, 
1869-1873 ;  George  Baird,  1873-1875 ;  R.  0.  Hall,  1875-1878 ;  H.  B. 
Corey,  1878-1885  ;  Allan  Mollison,  1885-1895  ;  John  C.  Johnson.  Jr., 
1895-1905;  Nicholas  Nicholsen,  1905-1913. 

Attorney — Ormanzo  Allen,  1857-1859;  D.  B.  Johnson,  Jr.,  1859- 
1860;  C.  J.  Shortt,  1860-1864;  H.  R.  Davidson,  1864;  D.  B.  John- 
son, 1864-1865;  C.  J.  Shortt.  1865-1867;  E.  O.  AVheeler,  1867-1869; 
C.  J.  Shortt,  1869-1871;  L.  Bourgard,  1871-1874;  Layfette  French, 
1874-1878;  C.  C.  Kinsman,  1878-1880;  George  F.  Goodwin,  1880- 
1882;  John  M.  Greeman.  1882-1887;  L.  F.  (Mausen,  1887-1889;  D. 
B.  Johnson,  Jr.,  1889-1893;  S.  D.  Catlierwood,  1893-1899;  R.  E. 
Shepherd,  1899-1903:  A.  AV.  AVri-lit.  1903-1911;  Otto  Baii(!!er. 

Probate  Judgt — C.  J.  F.'Ich.  lS5(i-1857  (ai)p()inled )  ;  A.  B. 
Vaughn,  1857-1859;  G.  M.  Camcn.n.  1859-1861  ;  Robert  Lylc,  1861- 
1866;  Ormanzo  Allen,  1866-1869;  C.  F.  Hardy,  1869-1870;  E.  O. 
AVheeler,  1870-1871  ;  Jesse  Rose.  1871-1874:  AV.  H.  Crandall,  1874- 
1875;  S.  Ilarter,  1875-1876;  G.  M.  Cameron.  1876-1879;  John  O. 
Farmer.    1879-1S,S0:   Onuau/.o    .Mien,    1SS()-]SS7:    \V.    W.    Raiinev. 

64  HISTOK'Y  nv  :\i()\vi:i;  rorxTY 

1887-1891;  S.  S.  Washl)urn,  1891-1903:  John  :\r.  Greeimian.  1903- 
1911;  Henry  Weber,  Jr.,  1911-1913. 

County  Surveyor— G.  H.  Allen,  1885-1893;  M.  N.  Clausen. 
1893-1897;  G.  H.  Allen,  1897-1901;  M.  N.  Clausen,  1901-1903;  V. 
A.  Nason,  1903-1907:  :\1.  N.  Clausen.  1907-1909;  Y.  A.  Nason, 

Coroner— J.  P.  Squires,  1885-1889:  A.  W.  Allen,  1889-1893;  W. 
L.  Ilollister,  1893-1905;  AY.  N.  Kendriok,  1905-1907;  Charles  S. 
Lewi.s,  1907-1911;  A.  E.  Henslin.  1911-1913. 

Clerk  of  the  District  Court — V.  P.  LeM'is  (by  appointment), 
1855-1858;  J.  E.  AVillard,  1858-1861;  L.  A.  Sherwood,  1861-1870: 
J.  F.  Atherton,  1870-1874;  F.  A.  Elder.  187-1-1877;  S.  Sweningson, 
1877-1895;  0.  J.  Simmons,  1895-1907;  George  S.  Burnham,  1907- 

Court  Commissioners — Ormaiizo  Allen,  1885-1887;  AV.  V.  Ran- 
ney,  1887-1891  ;  S.  S.  Washburn,  1891-1899;  A.  C.  Page,  1899-1913. 

School  Superintendent— J.  B.  Tollman,  1864-1867;  Sherman 
Page,  1867-1869;  0.  T.  Otis,  1869-1870;  A.  S.  Pike.  1870;  J.  T. 
Williams.  1870-1872;  A.  A.  Harwood,  1872-1874;  E.  F.  Morgan, 
1874-1875;  N.  M.  Holbrook,  1875-1877;  A.  H.  Tuttle,  1877-1881;  C. 
D.  Belden,  1881-1891;  Gertrude  C.  Ellis.  1891-1901;  Fannie  G. 
Gies,  1901-1909;  Grace  B.  Sherwood,  1909-1913. 


The  location  of  the  county  seat  was  the  first  official  question 
of  importance  that  occupied  the  attention  of  the  people  of  the 
ncAvly  organized  county.  The  first  board  of  county  commission- 
ers, Avho  were  appointed  by  Governor  Gorman  in  1856,  were 
George  White,  Phillip  Howell  and  William  Kussell.  On  April  7, 
1856,  these  temporary  commissioners  nu^t  in  the  village  of  Frank- 
ford  and  appointed  the  various  county  officers.  It  was  also  their 
business,  iinder  authority  of  the  legislature,  to  locate  a  county 
seat  and  the  record  of  such  an  act  siiould  have  been  made  in  the 
county  commissioiici-s  book  of  record  ;  l)ut  no  such  record  was 
tlicn  iiia.ic.  I)u1  some  liiiic  liitrr  tlic  rollowiiig  record  appeared  on 
llic  lly  leaf  of  HooU  ••.\'"  of  deeds  and  marked  "iiage  1."  Tiiis  is 
Ihe  (inly  record  of  the  location  of  the  county  seat   of  Frankford  : 

'■  Accordiiijr  to  an  ;ict  of  tlie  Minnesota  liCgisiature.  approvi'd 
-Miircli  1,  bsr.ti,  (;eor-e  Wliite.  I'liillip  [lowell,  and  William  Kus- 
sell, were  ai)poin1ed  coniinissioners  to  locate  the  seat  of  Mmver 
county.  Said  commissioners  met  A])ril  7.  1856,  and  located  the 
county  seat  of  Mowei-  county  at  the  following  place,  to-wit:  In 
the  vilhi'.'e  of  KranUford.  situate  on  the  southwest  (piarter.  of  the 
southeast    (|uarter.   and   the  southeast    (piarter  of    the    southwest 


quarter,  of  seetion  13,  township  103,  range  14,  west  of  the  fifth 
principal  meridian.  AVitness  our  hands  this  7th  day  of  April. 
1856.  Phillip  Howell,  William  Russell,  George  White,  commis- 
sioners. Attest:  Timothy  N.  Chapman,  clerk  of  the  board  of 
county  commissioners." 

Mower  county  at  that  time  was  entitled  to  one  representative 
in  the  legislatiire,  and  his  election  took  place  in  October,  1855,  the 
first  election  held  within  the  county.  The  polls  at  High  Forest 
were  located  under  an  oak  tree,  a  board  with  the  ends  placed  on 
two  barrel  heads  served  as  a  judge 's  desk.  The  east  side  nomin- 
ated W.  B.  Covell,  a  Democrat,  and  the  west  side  A.  B.  Vaughan, 
a  Republican.  Ninety-seven  votes  were  polled ;  Vaughan  received 
the  majority,  and  received  his  certificate  of  election  from  the 
judges,  and  applied  at  the  house  for  his  seat.  In  the  meantime 
Covell  had  made  the  retiu-ns  of  the  election  to  the  register  of 
deeds,  in  Houston,  and  from  him  received  his  certificate  of  elec- 
tion, proceeded  to  the  house,  and  Avas  duly  qualified  as  the  first 
member  of  the  legislature  from  ]Mower  county. 

The  first  general  election  held  in  the  county  occurred  October 
14,  1856.  Two  local  tickets,  without  regard  to  politics,  were  put 
in  nomination.  On  the  west  side,  the  People's  ticket,  with  J.  M. 
Berry,  for  representative ;  R.  L.  Kimball,  for  register  of  deeds ;  J. 
B.  Yates,  sheritf ;  S.  P.  Bacon,  treasurer ;  N.  P.  Todd,  surveyor ;  W. 
B.  Spencer,  of  LeRoy,  G.  H.  Bemis  and  H.  C.  Blodgett,  as  commis- 
sioners ;  A.  B.  Vaughan,  judge  of  probate,  and  Dr.  0.  Allen,  for 

On  the  east  side  the  Union  ticket  placed  in  the  field,  T.  II. 
Armstrong,  for  representative ;  W.  B.  Covell,  register  of  deeds ;  J. 
S.  Pierson,  sherift';  G.  P.  Covell,  treasurer;  M.  K.  Armstrong,  sur- 
veyor; William  Spencer,  of  LeRoy,  C.  F.  Hardy  and  N.  Goodsell, 
as  county  commissioners;  C.  J.  Felch,  as  judge  of  probate,  and  J. 
Pierce,  as  coroner. 

The  "People's  ticket"  was  elected  with  a  majority  of  46  votes 
out  of  374  polled,  with  the  exception  of  Mr.  Todd,  who  was  de- 
feated by  74  votes.  Heretofore  the  east  side  had  had  all  except 
three  minor  offices,  but  in  this  election  the  west  side  gained  the 

The  first  question  of  any  importance  wliich  came  l)cfore  tlie 
newly  elected  county  commissioners  was  that  of  estalilishing  a 
permanent  county  seat. 

The  people  of  the  west  side  of  the  county  argued  that  it  would 
be  easier  to  locate  the  county  seat  at  Austin,  than  it  wduld  he  to 
go  to  Frankford  to  transact  the  county  l)usiness. 

When  it  was  established  at  Frankford  by  the  tii-st  ( tcinijoi'ary) 
county  commissioners,  it  was  by  them  declai'cd  tliat  it  could  not 
be  removed  except  by  a  vote  of  tiie  peoj)!)'  of  the  county.     Twn  of 


the  newly  elected  commissioners,  George  H.  Bemis  and  H.  C.  Blod- 
gett  favored  its  removal,  and  took  it  upon  themselves  to  remove  it 
to  Austin,  having  passed  the  following  resolution  at  the  meeting 
or  January  7,  1857.  "That,  whereas,  the  act  of  the  territorial  leg- 
islature of  ^Minnesota,  of  A.  D.  1856,  made  it  the  duty  of  the  com- 
missioners appointed  under  the  provisions  of  said  act  to  locate  the 
county  seat  of  the  county  of  INIower,  and,  whereas,  it  does  not  ap- 
pear upon  the  records  of  the  doings  of  said  commissioners  on  the 
first  Monday  in  January,  A.  D.  1857,  that  any  such  location  was 
made,  or  any  place  provided  for  the  transaction  of  the  county 
husiness  according  to  law ;  therefore,  resolved,  that  we  do  hereby 
locate  the  county  seat  of  said  ]\Iower  county  at  the  village  of 
Austin,  on  section  3,  in  township  102,  range  18  west,  until  otlier- 
wise  provided  by  law.  This  entry  is  signed  by  George  H.  Bemis, 
chairman  of  the  board,  and  Joseph  Badger,  deputy  register. 

As  the  county  had  erected  no  building,  the  records  and  little 
tin  box  which  contained  them,  constituted  the  county  seat,  and 
wherever  these  were  there  it  was  also. 

About  noon  Sheriff  Yates  and  Vaughan,  with  the  little  tin  box 
on  which  rested  the  future  of  both  Frankford  and  Austin,  in  their 
sleigh  started  for  Austin.  That  night  they  stopped  at  the  Tatter- 
soll  House,  in  High  Forest.  The  landlord  took  the  tin  box  and  hid 
it  away,  with  instructions  to  deliver  to  no  one  but  Yates  and 
Vaughan.  In  a  short  time  Sheriff  Sherman  (Yates  had  not  yet 
duly  qualified)  with  a  posse  of  men  from  Frankford.  arrived  and 
arrested  Yates,  Vaughan,  Bemis  and  Tattersoll  (who  was  the  land- 
lord), for  grand  larceny.  He  then  posted  guards  around  the  hotel 
and  went  to  obtain  a  search  warrant,  as  the  landlord  would  ]iot 
give  up  the  tin  box  containing  the  records.  "While  lie  was  gone, 
Yates  made  a  bargain  with  W.  Sykes,  by  which  Sykes  was  to  re- 
ceive $20,  if  he  woiild  ol)tain  the  box  and  deliver  it  to  Yates,  in 
case  they  succeeded  in  removing  the  county  seat,  if  not  he  was  to 
have  $5.00  which  was  paid  down.  At  a  signal  from  Yates  (he  was 
to  pass  out  of  the  door)  tlie  man  was  to  take  it  out  and  hid'-  it. 
The  evening  being  quite  cold,  Yates  soon  induced  the  guards  to 
come  in  and  take  a  drink,  and  they  became  quite  convivial,  and 
supposed  as  long  as  they  watched  the  persons  imder  arrest  that 
their  duty  would  be  i)erformed,  and  that  the  box  would  be  safe. 
Soon  Yates  passed  out  of  the  front  door  (the  signal  agreed  upon) 
and  down  into  the  timl)er  a  sliort  distance.  Three  of  tlie  guards, 
wlio  saw  him  go  out,  foUowed  him,  but  he  eluded  them  by  taking 
advantage  of  a  short  turn  in  the  road,  and  jumped  into  the  brusli, 
wliih'  llic  tlii'cc  guards  |)ass('il  dii-cctly  on.  In  the  meantime  Sykes 
li!id  co-opci'alcd  willi  Yates  in  caiTving  out  the  plans  already  laid, 
and  was  seen  liy  Y;itcs  in  liic  act  of  hiding  tlw  liox.  Yates  th(Mi 
took  Die  l)ox  and  al'tci-  Sykes  had  gone  to  the  iiouse  took  the  box 


some  distance  and  hid  it  beneath  the  mantles  of  snow  which  then 
covered  the  earth  to  quite  a  depth,  and  covered  it  with  rails;  it 
remained  there  for  three  or  four  days.  After  hiding  the  box, 
Yates  went  about  a  half  mile  and  stopped  a  few  hours  at  the  house 
of  ?.rr.  Pierce,  and  then  returned  to  the  hotel.  He  afterward  deew 
a  diagram  of  the  grounds  where  the  box  had  been  hidden,  and 
gave  it  to  John  Patterson  and  C.  C.  Hanehett,  who  dug  it  up  from 
beneath  the  snow  and  conveyed  it  to  Austin,  where  it  was  secreted 
in  the  hardware  store  of  E.  L.  Kimball.  The  officers  procured  a 
search  warrant,  which  only  allowed  them  to  search  within  the 
store  proper,  and  not  in  the  upper  story,  which  was  used  by  Mr. 
Kimball  as  a  residence.  While  search  was  being  made  about  the 
store  room,  it  is  said  that  some  one  carried  the  tin  box  under 
cover  of  a  shawl  to  the  cellar  and  there  stowed  it  away  within  a 
pile  of  potatoes.  Thus  it  will  be  seen  the  search  was  made  in  vain. 
George  Bemis  had  the  book  containing  the  proceedings  of  the 
county  commissioners  under  his  coat  the  night  they  all  remaiaed 
at  Tattersoll's  House,  and  the  following  morning  he  and  Yates 
walked  about  eighty  rods  from  the  hotel  and  there  deposited  it 
under  the  snow,  at  the  foot  of  an  oak  tree,  disguising  the  marks 
they  had  necessarily  made  in  the  snow,  by  a  certain  method  which 
their  quick  wit  suggested. 

The  book  remained  there  a  short  time,  and  was  then  taken 
back  to  Frankford  and  carried  by  Mr.  Bemis  throughout  the  trial, 
closely  guarded  beneath  his  coat  and  vest. 

Armstrong,  Morse,  Willis  and  Belden  appeared  in  the  trial  for 
the  prosecution,  and  Jones  Ripley  and  Gordon  E.  Cole  for  the  de- 
fense. The  citizens  from  the  west  part  of  the  county  having  hefird 
of  the  arrests  which  had  been  made,  proceeded  at  once  to  Frank- 
ford,  to  liberate  the  prisoners,  all  going  well  armed  as  it  Avas 
feared  by  some  that  something  serious  might  transpire.  But  all 
soon  passed  off  without  the  shedding  of  blood,  and  with  the  ex- 
ception of  a  false  alarm  that  caused  no  little  consternation  among 
about  tifteen  men,  who  Avere  sleeping  in  Levi  Patchin's  old  log 
tavern,  the  examination  proceeded  without  further  trouble.  Yates 
and  Bemis  were  each  bound  over  for  the  sum  of  $3,000,  to  appear 
at  the  next  term  of  the  Pilmore  county  seat. 

Before  the  session  of  the  court  convened  the  matter  had  been 

In  jMarch,  1857,  the  county  board  engaged  the  office  of  A.  K. 
Everest,  in  Austin,  to  be  used  as  the  county  seat  headquarters. 
June  1,  1857,  the  people  of  the  county  voted  on  the  county  seat 
question,  and  decided  in  favor  of  Austin,  consequently  the  county 
seat  controversy,  both  among  the  people  and  in  the  courts  was 
dropped.  At  this  election,  the  people  of  the  eastern  part  of  the 
county  voted  not  for  Frankford,  but  for  Brownsdale.    But  High 


Forest  with  its  voters  was  cut  off  from  IMower  county  just  iu  time 
to  give  Austin  the  balance  of  power. 

July  6,  1857,  the  board  passed  the  following  resolution : — 
"Pursuant  to  an  act  during  the  eighth  session  of  the  legislative 
assembly  of  the  territory  of  Minnesota,  convened  on  the  7th  day 
of  January,  and  adjourned  on  the  7th  of  March,  1857,  granting 
the  legal  voters  of  the  county  of  Mower,  the  privilege  of  perma- 
nently establishing  the  county  seat  of  said  county,  by  an  election 
to  be  held  for  that  purpose  on  June  1,  1857;  and,  whereas,  it  ap- 
pearing by  a  canvass  of  the  votes  cast  at  said  election,  that  a  ma- 
jority of  the  votes  were  cast  for  the  location  of  the  county  seat  on 
Davidson's  addition  to  Austin.  Resolved,  That  we,  the  commis- 
sioners of  said  county  of  Mower,  at  this  our  regular  session,  July 
6,  1857,  in  accordance  with  the  wishes  of  a  majority  of  the  legal 
voters  of  said  county,  as  expressed  by  the  election,  do  hereby 
locate  the  county  seat  of  Mower  county  on  block  23,  in  David- 
son's addition  to  Austin,  as  said  addition  appears  on  record  iu 
the  office  of  the  Register  of  Deeds  of  IMower  county." 


In  March,  1857,  the  country  board  of  commissioners  engaged 
the  office  of  A.  S.  Everest,  in  Austin,  to  be  used  as  county  seat 
headquarters.  The  register  of  deeds  offieed  there  and  this  was 
the  place  for  holding  the  meetings  of  the  board  of  commissioners. 
This  and  other  small  office  rooms  served  for  county  seat  buildings 
until  the  fall  of  1868,  when  a  court  house  was  completed,  through 
an  act  of  the  board  of  commissioners  of  April  9,  1868.  At  this 
meeting  bids  were  received  for  the  erection  of  a  county  building, 
and  D.  J.  Tubbs  being  the  lowest  bidder,  the  contract  was 
awarded  to  him  in  the  sum  of  $6,450.  A  building  committee  was 
appointed,  consisting  of  Messrs.  Beech,  Stimson  and  Bishop.  Tlie 
building  was  to  be  completed  by  September  5,  1868.  This  was  a 
two-story  brick  structure  and  was  located  on  the  corner  of  IMain 
and  IMaple  streets,  opposite  the  present  court  house.  This  build- 
ing served  the  county  well  until  1881,  when  it  was  the  will  of  the 
people  that  a  new,  larger  and  better  court  house  be  provided  the 
rapidly  progressing  county.  In  accordance  with  this  manifest 
wish,  tlie  board  of  county  commissioners  commenced  laying  plans 
to  erect  more  spacious  quarters.  At  a  meeting  of  the  board  of 
corrunissioners,  held  ]\rarch  29,  1881,  block  13,  the  old  public 
square,  owned  l)y  various  parties,  was  piirchased  for  the  total 
sum  of  $1,925.  A  building  committee  was  tlicn  api)ointed,  wliich 
consisted  of  Oscar  Ayers,  O.  C.  L;iBar  and  AV.  B.  IMitson.  l^ids 
were  solicited  for  const i-uctiiig  the  l)as(Mn('iit  of  tlu'  contemplated 
court  house. 


m^;mj:-^.    1    !J?5t  -  ^-^^^ 

— -^-^^P-^Tp^  ■" 

^HWBHH^^^H  ffi^2.!^rT^^^^^H 



^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^B^^^^^ 



D.  J.  Tubbs,  whose  bid  of  $9,200.00  was  the  lowest  ofifered, 
was  awarded  the  contract  and  completed  the  work  in  a  very  satis-' 
factory  manner.  H.  J.  Anderson  was  appointed  as  superintend(!nt 
of  construction,  and  received  for  his  services  $30  per  week. 

The  building  committee  took  much  pains  to  become  thorough- 
ly conversant  with  the  various  kinds  of  architecture,  making  trips 
to  Milwaukee,  St.  Paul,  Minneapolis  and  other  points,  to  view 
and  study  into  the  plans  of  such  building,  and  finally  engaged  the 
services  of  W.  H.  Dennis,  of  Minneapolis,  as  their  architect  and 
designer.  June  14,  1882,  the  contract  for  erecting  the  super- 
structure was  awarded  to  Snow  &  Allsip,  of  Chicago.  Mr.  Snow 
was  the  Solomon  Snow  whose  name  appears  throughout  this 
history,  as  one  of  the  early  residents  of  Mower  county.  The 
amount  called  for  in  this  contract  was  $52,291.  The  work  of  con- 
struction went  on,  and  the  building  was  completed  and  first  occii- 
pied  in  the  month  of  March,  1884. 

About  seven  years  before  the  completion  of  the  new  court 
house,  the  board  of  county  commissioners  began  to  stOAV  away  a 
fund  for  that  purpose,  by  levying  a  light  tax  each  year,  thus  the 
tax  payers  were  not  burdened  by  a  heavy  tax  any  one  year,  or 
compelled  to  pay  interest  on  a  large  bonded  indebtedness,  as 
most  counties  have  done,  in  this  and  other  states.  No  small  credit 
is  due  to  the  enterprise  and  public  spirit  of  the  city  of  Austin, 
who  taxed  herself  to  the  amount  of  $6,000  as  an  aid  toward  erect- 
ing the  court  house.  The  total  cost  of  the  building,  lots,  and 
heating  apparatus,  Avas,  in  round  numbers  $67,900,  divided  about 
as  follows:  $51,500  for  building;  $1,925  for  grounds;  and  $4,500 
for  furniture  and  fixtures.  After  deducting  the  $6,000  paid  by 
the  city  of  Austin,  the  cost  to  the  people  of  Mower  county,  was 
about  $61,916. 

The  new  court  house  was  fittingly  dedicated  by  the  formal 
opening  of  the  first  session  of  court  within  its  walls. 

In  the  early  part  of  1879,  an  effort  Avas  made  to  have  the 
county  seat  removed  to  Ramsey.  The  effort  was  made  on  the  part 
of  the  people  of  Racine,  Frankford,  Pleasant  Valley,  Grand 
Meadow  and  other  towns.  A  remonstrance  was  signed  by  2,204 
legal  voters  of  the  county,  this  being  more  than  two  thirds  of  tlie 
total  vote  east  at  the  previous  general  election.  The  removal  bill 
failed  to  pass  the  legislature. 


Prior  to  1868  the  paupers  of  ]\Iower  county  W(>re  cared  for  by 
some  of  the  citizens,  who  were  paid  by  the  county.  At  that  dite 
a  farm  was  purchased  by  the  county  in  LeRoy  towusliip  find 
fitted  up  for  that  purpose.     April  16,  1868,  the  l)oard  of  couiify 


eommissiouers,  purchased  seventy-five  acres  of  land  on  the  north- 
west quarter  of  section  28.  township  101,  range  14,  of  Daniel  Cas- 
well and  wife,  for  the  sum  of  $1,500;  and  also  eighty  acres  of  W. 
Hayes  for  $1,8J:0.  This  constituted  the  first  poor  farm  in  the 
county.  Proper  improvements  were  made  and  the  poor  were 
cared  for  at  that  place  until  1876,  when  it  was  deemed  best  to 
exchange  this  property  for  the  present  poor  farm,  which  is  lo- 
cated on  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  31,  township  103,  range 
18,  which  is  in  the  township  of  Lansing,  and  is  about  three  miles 
distant  from  the  city  of  Austin.  This  place  was  bought  (or 
traded  for)  of  John  S.  Lacy  and  wife  February  11,  1876.  This 
farm  is  an  excellent  piece  of  land  and  now  contains  very  good 
improvements,  including  all  necessary  buildings. 

County  Jail.  The  county  jail  is  a  brick  structure  with  stone 
trimmings.  It  is  fireproof,  steam  heated  and  sanitary  throughout. 
The  sheritf's  residence  is  a  good  brick  building  with  stone  trim- 
mings. It  adjoins  the  jail  and  is  located  a  few  rods  from  the  court- 
liouse  on  the  east  side  of  Chatham  street. 



Mower  County  in  Seventh  and  Fourth  Council  Districts— Fillmore 
and  Mower  County  Made  the  Eighth  Council  District — First 
Representative  From  This  County  Takes  His  Seat — Consti- 
tutional Convention— Mower  and  Dodge  Counties  Become  the 
Thirteenth  Legislative  District — Mower  and  Dodge  County 
Become  the  Fifteenth  District — Mower  County  Becomes  the 
Fourth  District — Changed  to  the  Third  District— Later  to  the 
Sixth  District — Congressional  Representation. 

On  July  7,  18-1!),  Governor  Alexander  Ramsey,  l)y  proclama- 
tion, divided  the  territory  into  council  districts;  Mower  county, 
with  ihc  rest  of  southern  ^linnesota  (exclu.sive  of  the  settlements 
on  the  banks  of  tlic  ^Missi.ssippi"),  coming  witliin  tlie  limits  of  the 
Hcveiith  district. 

184i) — The  first  territorial  legislature  met  on  Septeiulier  3,  and 
adjourned  November  1.  The  seventh  district  was  represented  in  the 
council  by  Martin  McLeod,  of  Lac  qui  Parle;  and  in  the  house  by 
Alexis  Biiilly,  of  .Meiidola.  and  Oideon  II.  Pond,  of  Oak  Grove. 
Although  Mower  county  was  included  in  the  seventh  district,  no 


settlers  had  at  that  time  located  within  the  present  limits  of  the 

1851 — The  second  territorial  legislature  assenihled  January  1 
and  adjourned  IMarch  31.  The  seventh  district  was  represented 
in  the  council  hy  IMartin  McLeod,  of  L/ae  qui  Parle ;  and  in  the 
house  by  B.  H.  Randall,  of  Ft.  Snelling,  and  Alexander  Faribault, 
of  Faribault.  IVIower  county  was  still  without  settlers.  By  the 
apportionment  of  this  legislature,  the  territory  having  been  di- 
vided into  counties,  the  fourth  district  was  made  to  constitute 
Wabasha  and  Washington  counties,  and  the  precincts  of  St.  Paul 
and  Little  Canada  jointly.  It  was  understood  that  Wabasha 
county  was  to  be  one  representative  district.  The  present  Mower 
county  was  then  included  in  Wabasha  county. 

1852 — The  thii-d  territorial  legislature  assembled  January  7, 
and  adjourned  ]\Iarcli  6.  The  fourth  district  was  represented  in 
the  council  by  Lorenzo  A.  Babcock,  of  Sauk  Rapids;  and  in  the 
house  by  Fordyce  H.  Richards,  of  Reed's  Landing. 

1853 — The  fourth  territorial  legislature  assembled  Januar}^  5, 
and  adjourned  March  5.  At  this  session  the  boundary  lines  of 
many  of  the  counties  were  changed,  and  Mower  county  was  in- 
cluded within  the  limits  of  Rice  county.  The  boundaries  of  the 
legislative  districts,  however,  remained  the  same,  and  the  present 
j\Iower  county  remained  in  the  district  -which  comprised  the  area 
included  in  Wabasha  county  by  the  act  of  1851.  At  the  session 
of  1853  the  fourth  district  was  represented  in  the  council  by 
Lorenzo  A.  Babcock;  and  in  the  house  by  James  ("Bully") 
Wells,  of  a  settlement  at  the  head  of  Lake  Pepin. 

1854 — The  fifth  territorial  legislature  assembled  January  4 
and  adjourned  March  4.  The  fourth  district  was  represented  in 
the  council  by  AVilliam  Freeborn,  of  Red  Wing;  and  in  the  house 
by  0.  M.  Lord,  of  what  is  now  Dodge  county. 

1855 — The  sixth  territorial  legislature  assembled  January  3 
and  adjourned  ilareh  3.  The  fourth  district  was  represented  in 
the  council  by  William  Freeborn;  and  in  the  house  by  Clark  AY. 
Thompson,  of  the  present  Houston  coimty.  At  this  session  Mower 
county  was  created  with  practically  her  present  boundaries,  with 
the  exception  of  the  twelve  sections  that  were  annexed  to  Olm- 
sted coiinty.  May  26,  1857.  The  creation  act  passed  February  20, 
1855.  At  the  same  session,  Houston,  Fillmore  and  Mower  county 
were  constituted  the  eighth  district. 

1856 — The  seventh  territorial  legislature  assembled  Jamuiry 
2  and  adjourned  ilarch  1.  In  the  meantime  tlie  Republican  party 
had  been  organized,  and  a  convention  met  at  St.  Paul,  July  25, 
1855.  Of  sixteen  delegates  selected  from  Freeborn  and  ^Mower 
counties.  l)ut   one  was  present.     Tlie  Democratic   convention  as- 


sembled  July  25,  1855.  and  was  better  represented  from  this 
county.  A  third  party  had  also  been  organized  by  delegates  se- 
ceding from  the  Democratic  convention.  Clark  W.  Thompson, 
of  Houston  county,  and  Benjamin  F.  Tillotson,  of  Fillmore  county, 
represented  the  eighth  district  in  the  sixth  territorial  legislature. 
The  representatiA'es  in  the  house  from  this  district  were  W.  B. 
Gere,  Samuel  Hull.  "William  F.  Dunbar,  William  B.  Covell  and 
Martin  G.  Thompson.  "William  B.  Covell  was  a  Democrat  from 
the  east  end  of  Mower  county.  At  the  election  of  October  9,  1855, 
there  had  been  two  candidates  for  the  legislature  in  this  county, 
Covell,  Democrat,  from  the  east  end,  and  Alanson  B.  "Vaughan, 
Republican,  from  the  west  end.  Vaughan  was  elected  by  a  good 
majority  and  obtained  a  certificate  of  election  from  the  judges, 
but  upon  application  to  the  house  for  admission,  he  found  that 
Covell  had  made  returns  of  election  to  the  register  of  deeds  in 
Houston,  and  thus  equipped,  had  been  dvily  admitted  to  a  seat  in 
the  house.  Thus  "Vaughan  was  the  first  elected  representative 
from  Mower  county,  and  Covell  the  first  to  hold  the  seat. 

1857 — The  eighth  territorial  legislature  assembled  Januarj^  7 
and  adjourned  j\Iarch  7.  Clark  "W.  Thompson  and  Benjamin  F. 
Tillotson  again  represented  the  eighth  district  in  the  council.  The 
representatives  in  the  house  were  "William  B.  Gere,  D.  F.  Chase, 
"W.  J.  Howell,  John  M.  Berry  and  M.  G.  Thompson.  Berry  was 
from  Mower  county.  An  extra  session  of  this  legislature  assem- 
bled April  27  and  adjourned  ]\Iay  23.  It  was  this  eighth  terri- 
torial legislature  that  on  May  26,  1857,  set  off  twelve  sections  of 
]\rower  county  and  added  them  to  Houston  county. 

Under  the  enabling  act  of  congress,  approved  March  3,  1857, 
a  constitutional  convention  of  108  members  (each  council  dis- 
trict to  elect  two  delegates  for  each  councilman  and  representa- 
tive it  was  entitled  to)  was  authorized  to  meet  at  the  capitol  on 
the  second  Monday  in  July,  to  frame  a  state  constitution,  and 
to  submit  it  to  the  people  of  the  territory.  The  election  was  held 
on  the  first  Monday  in  June.  July  13  the  delegates  met,  but  a 
disagreement  arising  in  the  organization,  the  Republican  mem- 
])ers  organized  one  body  and  the  Democrats  organized  sepai-ately. 
Each  of  these  bodies  claiming  to  be  the  legal  constitutional  con- 
vention, proceeded  with  the  work  of  forming  an  instrument  to  be 
.submitted  to  the  people.  After  some  days  an  understanding  was 
effected  between  them,  and  by  means  of  a  committee  of  confer- 
ence the  same  constitution  was  framed  and  adopted  l)y  both 
bodies.  On  being  sul)initfcd  to  the  ]ieopl(\  ()ctol)er  13.  it  was 

In  tlie  Kcpiihlican  wiiij;',  the  eighth  district  was  represented  by 
Alanson  B.  Vaughan,  C.  W.  Thompson,  John  A.  Anderson, 
Cli.irles  A.   Coe,   N.  P.   Colburn,  J.  A.   :\rcCann,   II.   A.   Billings. 


Charles  Hanson,  H.  W.  Holley,  John  Cleghorn,  A.  H.  Butler, 
Robert  Lyle  and  Boyd  Phelps.  In  the  Democratic  wing,  the 
eighth  district  had  but  one  representative,  James  C.  Day. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1857,  set  forth  in  the  state  consti- 
tution adopted  October  13,  Mower  and  Dodge  counties  were  con- 
stituted the  thirteenth  district,  with  two  representatives  in  the 
senate  and  three  in  the  house. 

1857-58 — The  first  state  legislature  assembled  December  2, 
1857.  On  March  25,  1858,  it  took  a  recess  until  June  2,  and 
finally  adjourned  August  12.  The  thirteenth  district  was  repre- 
sented in  the  senate  by  Edward  W.  Somers  and  Boyd  Phelps. 
For  some  reason  the  records  show  only  one  member,  George  0. 
Way,  in  the  house  from  this  district,  though  the  district  was  en- 
titled to  three  representatives. 

1859-60 — The  second  state  legislature  assembled  December  7, 
1859,  and  adjourned  March  12,  1860.  Henry  C.  Rogers  and  A.  J. 
Edgerton  represented  the  thirteenth  district  in  the  senate,  and 
T.  F.  Hunt,  Peter  ^Mantor  and  B.  F.  Langworthy  in  the  house. 
This  legislature  reapportioned  the  legislative  districts,  and  Mower 
and  Dodge  counties  became  the  fifteenth. 

1861 — The  third  state  legislature  assembled  January  8  and 
adjourned  March  8.  The  fifteenth  district  was  represented  in 
the  senate  by  J.  AY.  Flake :  and  in  the  house  by  Peter  Mantor  and 
Thomas  J.  Hunt. 

1862 — The  fourth  state  legislature  assembled  January  7  and 
adjourned  ]\Iarch  7.  The  fifteenth  district  was  represented  in 
the  senate  by  Joseph  H.  Clark,  and  in  the  house  by  S.  Bostwick 
and  H.  C.  Rogers.  On  account  of  the  Indian  outbreak,  an  extra 
session  was  called  by  the  governor,  and  it  assembled  Septem- 
ber 9  and  adjourned  September  29. 

1863 — The  fifth  state  legislature  assembled  January  6  and  ad- 
journed March  6.  The  fifteenth  district  was  represented  in  the 
senate  by  Joseph  H.  Clark,  and  in  the  hoiise  by  B.  D.  Sprague 
and  S.  P.  Bacon. 

1864 — The  sixth  state  legislature  assembled  January  5  and  ad- 
journed March  4.  D.  B.  Sprague  represented  the  fifteenth  district 
in  the  senate  and  Royal  Crane  andAugustus  Barlow  in  the  house. 

1865 — The  seventh  state  legislature  assembled  January  3  and 
adjourned  IMarch  3.  The  representatives  from  the  fifteenth  dis- 
trict were  D.  B.  Sprague  in  the  senate  and  Royal  Crane  and  C.  D. 
Tuthill  in  the  house. 

1866 — The  eighth  state  le"gislature  assembled  January  2  and 
adjourned  March  2.  The  fifteenth  district  was  represented  in  the 
senate  by  Samuel  Lord,  and  in  the  house  by  C.  J.  Felch  and  D.  B. 
Johnson,  Jr.,  botli  from  Mower  county.     This  legislature  reappor- 


tioncd  tlic  tlistricts,  hut  Mower  and  Dod^e  founties  reinaiiu'd  the 
tiftci'iitli  district   with  one  senator  and  two  representatives. 

18fj7 — The  ninth  state  legislature  assemhled  January  8  and 
adjourned  Mareh  8.  The  tifteenth  district  was  represented  in  the 
senate  hy  Samuel  Lord,  and  in  tlie  liouse  by  C.  J.  Feleh  and  D.  B. 
Johnson,  Jr. 

1868 — The  tenth  legislature  assembled  January  7  and  ad- 
journed ]\Iareh  6.  The  fifteenth  district  Avas  represented  in  the 
senate  by  W.  E.  Harris,  and  in  the  liouse  l)y  D.  A.  Shaw  and  E.  K. 

1869 — The  eleventh  legislature  assembled  January  5  and  ad- 
journed ^lareh  5.  W.  E.  Harris  represented  the  fifteenth  district 
in  the  senate,  and  T.  J.  Hunt  and  E.  K.  Proper  in  the  house. 

1870 — The  twelfth  legislature  assembled  January  4  and  ad- 
journed ]\Iarch  4.  The  fifteenth  district  w^as  represented  in  the 
senate  by  Samuel  Lord,  and  in  the  house  by  G.  ^L  Cameron  and 
H.  A.  Brown. 

1871 — The  thirfeenth  legislature  assembled  January  8  and  ad- 
journed March  3.  The  fifteenth  disfrict  was  represented  in  the 
senate  by  Samuel  Lord,  and  in  the  house  by  Harlan  AV.  Page,  of 
Mower  county,  and  AV.  G.  Telfer.  This  legislature  reapportioned 
the  state,  and  for  the  first  time  Alower  county  became  a  district 
by  itself,  being  designated  the  foui-th  district,  with  one  senator 
and  two  representatives.  Since  that  time  Mower  county  has  re- 
mained in  a  separate  district. 

1872 — The  fourteenth  legislatiu-e  assemhled  January  2  and 
adjourned  ]\Iarch  1.  Sherman  Page  represented  the  fourth  dis- 
trict in  the  senate,  and  John  T.  AVilliams  and  J.  ]\L  Wyckoff  in  the 

187;? — The  fifteenth  legislature  assembled  Januai-y  7  and  ad- 
journed Marcii  7.  Tlie  representatives  from  the  fourth  district 
were  N.  K.  Nobh-  in  the  senate  and  O.  O.  Finhart  and  E.  J.  Stim- 
son  in  the  house. 

1874 — The  seventeentli  h'gisjature  asst 
adjourned  .March  6.  Mowei'  (•dunty  was  I'e 
by  E.  H.  Wells  and  in  the  liouse  by  (iundc 

187.") — The  scvcuteentli  legislature  assembled  Janiuiry  .")  and 
adjourned  .Man-ii  .'>.  K.  II.  Wells  represented  Alow-er  eounly  in 
the  senali',  and  John  S.  ii-gens  and  (Muirles  F.  (Ii-eening  in  flic 

187() — The  eigliteenth  legislature  assembled  January  4  and  ad- 
journed March  'A.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  1{.  1.  Smith,  and  in  the  house  by  IL  F.  Deming  and  C.  F.  Green- 

1877- Tiu>  niiiclcrnth  Icgislatuiv  assembled  Jammry  2  and  ad- 




6  and 



ed  in 



r  Ha 




A    E 


journed  March  2.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  R.  I.  Smith,  and  in  the  house  by  S.  J.  Sanborn  and  Hosmer 
A.  Brown. 

1878 — The  tAventieth  legislature  assembled  January  8  and  ad- 
journed IMarch  8.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  George  W.  Clough,  and  in  the  house  by  S.  J.  Sanborn  and  H. 
K.  Volstad. 

1879 — The  twenty-first  legislature  assembled  Jamiary  7  and 
adjourned  jMarch  7.  IMower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  \V.  H.  Officer,  and  in  the  house  by  J.  F.  Goodsell  and  J.  D. 

1881 — The  twenty-second  legislature  assembled  January  4  and 
adjourned  March  4.  IMower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  W.  H.  Officer,  and  in  the  house  by  J.  D.  Allen  and  P.  A.  Peter- 
son. An  extra  session  called  to  consider  a  constitutional  question 
in  regard  to  action  taken  on  the  state  railroad  bonds  at  the  regular 
session,  assembled  October  11  and  closed  November  13.  This  legis- 
lature reapportioned  the  state  and  Mower  county  became  the 
third  district. 

1883 — The  twenty-third  legislature  assembled  January  2  and 
adjourned  March  2.  The  third  district  was  represented  in  the 
senate  by  "W.  L.  Hollister,  and  in  the  house  by  John  Frank  and 
J.  F.  Carson. 

1885 — The  twentj^-fourth  legislature  assembled  January  6  and 
adjourned  March  6.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  W.  T.  Wilkins,  and  in  the  house  by  H.  W.  Light!  ey  and  J.  F. 

1887 — The  twenty-fifth  legislature  assembled  January  4  and 
adjourned  March  4.  IMower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  O.  W.  Gibson,  and  in  the  house  by  J.  J.  Furlong  and  E.  S. 

1889 — The  twenty-sixth  legislature  assembled  January  8  and 
adjourned  April  23.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  O.  W.  Gibson,  and  in  the  house  by  E.  S.  Hoppin  and  H.  W. 

1891 — Although  a  reapportionment  had  been  made  in  1889, 
Mower  county  still  remained  the  third  district.  The  twenty- 
seventh  legislature  assembled  January  6  and  adjourned  April  20. 
The  third  district  was  represented  in  the  senate  by  Oscar  Ayers 
and  in  the  house  by  J.  -J.  Fiirlong  and  G.  W.  Benner. 

1893 — The  twenty-eighth  legislature  convened  January  3  .nid 
adjoiu'ned  April  18.  IMower  county  was  represented  in  the  third 
district  by  Oscar  Ayers  and  in  the  house  by  J.  J.  Furlong  and  G. 
W.  Benner. 

1895 — The  twenty-ninth  legislature  convened  January  8  and 
adjourned  April  23.    Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 


by  S.  Sweuingson,  and  in  tlie  liouse  hy  J.  J.  Furlong  and  John 

1897 — The  thirtieth  legislature  assembled  January  5  and  ad- 
journed April  21.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  S.  Sweningsen,  and  in  the  house  of  C.  L.  "West  and  L.  C. 
Seribner.  In  the  reapportionment  of  this  legislature  IMower 
county  became  the  sixth  district,  with  one  senator  and  two  repi'e- 

1899 — The  thirty-first  legislature  assembled  January  3  and 
adjourned  April  18.  The  sixth  district  was  represented  in  the 
senate  by  S.  Sweningsen,  and  in  the  hoiise  by  C.  L.  West  and  L.  C. 

1901 — The  thirty-second  legislature  assembled  January  8  and 
adjourned  April  12.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  senate 
by  S.  Sweningsen,  and  in  the  house  by  George  W.  AV.  Harden  and 
W.  A.  Nolan.  An  extra  session  assembled  February  4,  1902,  and 
adjourned  ]\Iarch  11  of  the  same  year. 

1903 — The  thirty-third  legislature  assembled  January  6  and 
adjourned  April  21.  i\Iower  county  was  represented  in  the 
senate  by  A.  S.  Campbell,  and  in  the  house  by  W.  A.  Nolan  and 
H.  W.  Lightley. 

1905 — The  thirty-fourth  legislature  assembled  January  3  and 
adjourned  April  18.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the 
senate  by  A.  S.  Campbell,  and  in  the  house  by  W.  A.  Nolan  and 
G.  W.  W.  Harden. 

1907 — The  thirty-fifth  legislature  assembled  Januar.y  8  and  ad- 
journed April  24.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  the  sen- 
ate by  A.  S.  Campbell,  and  in  the  hoi;se  by  W.  A.  Nolan  and  W. 
L.  ITollister. 

1909 — The  thirty-sixth  legislature  assemliled  January  5  and 
adjourned  January  5.  jMower  county  Avas  represented  in  the 
senate  by  A.  S.  Campbell,  and  in  the  house  by  "W.  "\V.  Nolan  and 
Hubbard  Carey. 

1911 — The  thirty-seventh  legislature  assembled  January  3, 
1911.  Mower  county  was  represented  in  tlie  senate  by  Charles  F. 
Cook,  and  in  th(>  house  by  Ralph  Crane  and  Frank  S.  Christie. 


The  first  congressional  district,  in  which,  from  the  time  of 
the  admission  of  Minnesota  as  a  state,  IMower  county  has  l)een 
included,  has  been  represented  in  congress  as  follows:  J.  A. 
Cavanaugh,  Democrat,  IMarch  12,  1858,  to  ]\Iarch  4,  1859;  Will- 
iam Windom,  Republican,  I\Iarch  4,  1859,  to  March  4,  1869; 
Morton  S.  Wilkinson,  Republican.  :\Iarcli  4,  18()9,  to  :\rarch  4, 
1871;  Mark  11.  Dunnell,  Republican,  .Alareh  4,  1871,  to  IMarch  4, 


1883 ;  Milo  White,  Republican,  March  4,  1883,  to  March  4,  1887 
Thomas  Wilson,  Democrat,  March  4,  1887,  to  March  4,  1889 
Mark  H.  Dunnell,  Republican,  March  4,  1889,  to  March  4,  1891 
W.  H.  Harries,  Democrat,  March  4,  1891,  to  March  4,  1893 
James  A.  Tawney,  Republican,  March  4,  1893,  to  March  4,  1911 
Sidney  A.  Anderson,  pro^essive  Republican,  1911-13. 

Until  Minnesota  became  a  state  it  had  only  one  representa- 
tive in  congress,  a  territorial  delegate,  who  was  not  allowed  to 
vote.  The  first  territorial  delegate  from  Minnesota  was  Henry 
H.  Sibley,  who  was  first  sent  ostensibly  as  a  delegate  from  the 
territory  of  Wisconsin,  though  living  on  the  present  site  of 
Mendota,  at  the  mouth  of  the  Minnesota  river.  He  sat  as  a  ter- 
ritorial delegate  from  January  15,  1849,  to  December  5,  1853. 
He  was  succeeded  by  Henry  M.  Rice,  who  served  imtil  December 
7,  1857.  W.  W.  Kingsbury  was  elected  to  succeed  him  and  served 
until  December  6,  1858.  As  has  been  noted,  the  United  States 
senate,  February  23,  1857,  passed  an  act  authorizing  the  people 
of  Minnesota  to  form  a  constitution  preparatory  to  their  admis- 
sion to  the  union.  In  accordance  with  the  provisions  of  this 
enabling  act,  a  constitutional  convention  was  held  July  13,  1857, 
at  the  territorial  capital.  October  13,  1857,  an  election  was  held, 
when  the  constitution  was  adopted  and  a  full  list  of  state  officers 
elected.  Three  congressmen  were  also  elected  at  this  time — 
George  L.  Becker,  W.  W.  Phelps  and  J.  M.  Cavanaugh — but  it 
was  afterward  found  that  Minnesota  was  entitled  to  only  two 
congressmen  and  the  matter  was  amicably  adjusted  by  the  with- 
drawal of  Mr.  Becker.  By  this  election,  the  Messrs.  Phelps  and 
Cavanaugh  became  the  first  members  of  congress  from  the  state 
of  Minnesota. 

In  the  winter  of  1857-58  the  legislature  divided  the  state  into 
two  congressional  districts,  the  southern  part  becoming  the  first 
congressional  district  and  the  northern  part  the  second.  Mower 
county  thus  becoming  a  part  of  the  first  congressional  district. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1872,  the  state  was  divided  into  three 
congressional  districts.  The  first  district  contained  the  counties 
of  Winona,  Houston,  Olmsted,  Fillmore,  Dodge,  Steele,  Mower, 
Freeborn,  Waseca,  Faribault,  Blue  Earth,  Watonwan,  Martin, 
Jackson,  Cottonwood,  Murray,  Nobles,  Pipestone  and  Rock. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1881,  the  state  was  divided  into  five 
congressional  districts.  The  first  district  contained  the  counties 
of  Houston,  Fillmore,  Mower,  Freeborn,  Steele,  Dodge,  Olmsted, 
Winona  and  Wabasha. 

By  the  apportionment  of  1891,  the  state  was  divided  into 
seven  congressional  districts.  The  first  district  contained  tlie 
counties  of  Dodge,  Fillmore,  Freeborn,  Houston,  IMower,  Olmsted, 
Steele,  Wabasha,  Waseca  and  Winona. 


By  the  apportionment  of  1901,  the  state  was  divided  into  nine 
congressional  districts.  This  apportionment  has  continued  to 
the  present  day.  The  first  district  now  consists  of  the  counties 
of  Dodge,  Fillmore,  Freeborn.  Houston,  Mower,  Olmsted,  Steele, 
"Wabasha,  "Waseca  and  "Winona. 


Judicial  History  of  Mower  County — Judges  Who  Have  Presided 
in  the  Courts  of  This  District — Their  Life,  Ability  and  Char- 
acteristics— The  Men  Who  Have  Made  Up  the  Bar  of  the 
County — Notable  Cases  That  Have  Been  Tried  Here — By 
Attorney  Lafayette  French. 

Nearly  forty  years  ago  there  came  to  this  county  a  young 
lawyer,  just  starting  his  career,  who  at  once  took  an  active  part 
in  the  stirring  events  which  for  so  many  years  made  Slower 
county  the  maelstrom  of  political  and  legal  conflicts.  He  has 
continued  to  remain  here,  has  filled  various  offices,  and  has  al- 
ways stood  for  clean,  vigoroiis  manhood  in  public  and  private 
life.  As  an  attorney  he  is  particularly  gifted,  having  a  thor- 
ough knowledge  of  the  law,  forensic  abilities,  acute  perceptions 
and  keen  mind.  Few  lawyers  in  the  state  have  tried  as  many 
cases  before  the  higher  courts,  and  none  have  won  a  higher  per- 
centage of  important  suits.  In  securing  such  a  man  to  write  of 
the  Bench  and  Bar,  the  publishers  of  this  work  are  especially 
fortunate,  for  aside  from  his  other  equipment,  he  came  here  only 
sixteen  years  after  the  arrival  of  the  first  Mower  county  attorney, 
and  has  since  been  in  active  practice.  Therefore  the  following 
article  by  the  Hon.  Lafayette  French  will  not  only  be  of  deepest 
interest  at  the  present  time,  but  will  also  be  a  valuable  work  of 
reference  tlirougbout  the  coming  years. 


By  an  act  of  the  legislature  passed  ]\Iarch  1,  1858,  the  county 
of  Mower  was  declared  to  be  an  organized  county.  Commission- 
ers were  appointed  lo  establish  llie  (-(tunty  s(>at.  and  later  it  was 
made  a  pari  ol'  Hie  liflh  .judiciiil  district,     lion.  N.  M.  Donaldson 


was  elected  the  first  judge  of  the  fifth  judicial  district,  and  the 
first  term  of  court  held  in  Mower  county  was  September,  1858. 
"When  the  fifth  judicial  district  was  organized  there  were  but 
six  judicial  districts  in  this  state.  Judge  Donaldson  presided 
over  the  fifth  judicial  district  until  January  1,  1872,  when  his 
successor,  the  Hon.  Samuel  Lord,  ofificiated.  At  the  time  of  his 
retirement  Judge  Donaldson  was  a  man  well  along  in  years. 
He  possessed  a  good  deal  of  dignity,  candor  and  fairness.  There 
was  little  business  during  his  term  of  office  to  transact  in  this 
county,  and  the  suits  involved  were  chiefly  those  for  money 
demand.  He  resided  at  Owatonna,  and  died  a  few  years  after 
he  ceased  to  be  judge.  Judge  Samuel  Lord,  who  was  elected  as 
Judge  Donaldson's  successor,  lived  at  Mantorville,  Dodge  county, 
Minnesota,  and  held  but  two  terms  of  court  in  this  county. 
He  was  a  fair  judge  and  gave  general  satisfaction.  In  the  winter 
of  1872  a  new  judicial  district  was  created  composed  of  the 
counties  of  Houston,  Fillmore,  Mower,  Freeborn,  and  at  fall 
election  the  Hon.  Sherman  Page  was  elected  judge  of  the  newly 
created  district.  Judge  Page  held  office  during  the  term  of  six 
years.  He  was  a  man  of  marked  ability  and  possessed  of  an 
analytical  mind  of  large  perception,  and  was  quick  to  dispatch 
business,  but  he  was  too  much  of  a  partisan  to  be  a  judge.  Nat- 
urally combative,  quick  to  form  conclusions,  he  took  sides  on 
every  matter  that  came  before  him.  He  was  a  man  of  strong 
feelings,  but  when  he  did  not  allow  his  judgment  to  be  warped 
by  prejudice  against  the  attorneys  of  parties  of  the  cause  before 
him  he  was  a  very  able  judge.  In  the  fall  of  1878  the  lower 
house  of  the  legislature  prepared  articles  of  impeachment  and 
he  was  put  upon  his  trial  in  May.  1878,  before  the  senate  sitting 
as  a  court  of  impeachment.  The  prosecution  lacked  the  requisite 
number  of  votes  to  convict  him  and  he  was  acquitted.  The 
charges  consisted  largely  of  allegations  of"  wrongful,  malicious  and 
oppressive  conduct,  while  judge."  After  his  impeachment  trial 
he  again  was  a  candidate  for  election,  but  was  defeated  by  Hon. 
J.  Q.  Farmer,  of  Spring  Valley,  Fillmore  county.  Judge  Farmer 
continued  to  preside  over  the  district  for  thirteen  years,  when 
he  voluntarily  and  of  his  own  motion  retired  from  office.  "While 
Judge  Farmer  was  not  a  student,  he  possessed  a  judicial  mind, 
and  was  eminently  fair.  Jurors,  suitors  and  attorneys  in  his 
court  felt  instinctively  that  they  had  been  dealt  with  in  all  fair- 
ness. He  was  loved  and  esteemed  by  both  the  laity  and  the  bar 
of  his  district.  He  was  one  of  the  most  conscientious  and  fair- 
minded  men  that  presided  over  the  courts  of  this  state.  He  was 
not  a  learned  lawyer,  did  not  profess  to  be,  but  he  had  a  judicial 
mind    with    rugged    common    sense    and    a    love    of   justice    that 


iiiado  him  almost  an  ideal  judge.  There  are  few  judges  that 
were  more  universally  loved  and  esteemed  by  the  people  of  his 
judicial  district  than  he.  Judge  Farmer,  refusing  to  serve  longer 
upon  the  bench,  was  succeeded  by  the  election  of  the  Hon.  John 
Whytock,  of  Albert  -Lea,  Freeborn  ccTunty.  He  acted  as  judge 
for  the  full  term  of  his  office,  six  years,  and  at  the  November 
election  he  was  re-elected.  In  November,  1897,  while  holding 
court  at  Preston,  Fillmore  county,  he  was  taken  ill  and  a  few 
weeks  after  died  at  his  home  in  Albert  Lea.  Judge  Whytock 
was  a  good  lawyer  and  had  many  qualifications  that  fitted  him 
for  a  jiidge,  but  he  was  hard  of  hearing,  and  considerably  more 
so  than  he  realized.  There  was  some  difficulty  in  transacting 
business  before  him.  He  did  not  hear  all  of  the  testimony  and 
hence  in  ruling  upon  questions  of  the  admissibility  of  evidence 
appeared  to  disadvantage,  but  he  w^as  a  good  man,  intended  to 
be  fair,  and  aside  from  the  defect  of  hearing,  made  a  good  judge. 
Governor  Clough  appointed  as  his  successor  the  Hon.  Nathan 
Kingsley,  of  Austin,  Mower  county,  and  he  has  been  re-elected 
judge  of  this  district  without  opposition  to  the  present  time. 
He  has  served  with  entire  satisfaction  to  the  bar  and  the  people 
of  this  district.  He  is  peculiarly  fitted  and  qualified  for  a  good 
judge.  He  has,  in  a  marked  degree,  a  judicial  mind.  He  is 
studious,  painstaking  and  careful  and  above  all  he  possesses  that 
candor  and  fairness  which  is  becoming  to  a  judge.  Industrious, 
he  is  diligent  in  his  search  for  the  right,  and  his  sense  of  justice 
is  tempered  by  his  mild  and  humane  manner.  Patience,  studious^ 
ness  and  the  love  of  justice  are  some  of  his  distinctive  character- 
istics. He  is  still  the  presiding  judge.  Judge  Kingsley  is  also 
a  prominent  Mason,  and  is  Grand  High  Priest  of  the  Grand  Chap- 
ter, R.  A.  M. 


The  first  attorney  to  establish  himself  in  the  law  business  at 
Austin  was  Ormanzo  Allen,  who  came  from  Wisconsin,  July  2, 
1856.  He  continued  to  reside  here  until  his  death  a  few  years 
ago.  He  was  engaged  in  the  trial  of  but  few  cases.  He  Avas  an 
office  lawyer  and  confined  his  labors  to  conveyancing  and  giving 
advice.  He  was  an  exemplary  citizen,  and  at  one  time  was  con- 
sidered quite  wealthy,  but  in  later  years  lost  the  l)ulk  of  his 
property  in  speculation. 

The  second  lawyer  lo  ('stal)]isli  liiiiiscll'  in  Austin  was  Aaron 
S.  p]verest.  He  came  from  High  Forest  in,  1856,  and 
was  formerly,  it  is  believed,  a  resident  of  the  state  of  New  York, 
His  education  was  limited,  but  he  possessed  a  good  deal  of  native 
al)ility  and  was  naturally  a  good  lawyer.  He  was  quite  active 
in   ]in]iti('s  while  lie  resided  in  tliis  cnnnty.     In  ISTO  lie  rcnioved 


to  Athison,  Kansas,  where,  in  connection  with  his  partnei",  j\Ir. 
Wagner,  he  built  up  a  large  and  lucrative  business.  He  died 
some  seven  or  eight  years  ago  at  Atchison,  Kansas. 

Another  lawyer  of  considerable  note  was  D.  B.  Johnson,  Jr. 
He  came  to  Austin  in  1856.  He  engaged  in  surveying  and  mer- 
chandising until  the  term  of  court  held  in  September,  1858,  when 
he  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  Like  most  lawyers  he  was  engaged 
in  politics,  and  held  the  offices  of  justice  of  peace,  county  attorney 
one  term,  and  county  auditor  one  term.  In  August,  1871,  he  was 
appointed  one  of  the  associate  justices  of  the  territory  of  New 
Mexico,  but  resigned  in  1872.  From  1858  until  1871  he  was 
associated  in  the  practice  of  laAv  under  the  firm  name  of  Cameron 
&  Johnson.  After  his  retirement  from  the  bench  in  1872  he  was 
in  practice  alone  until  1888,  when  he  formed  a  partnership  with 
S.  D.  Catherwood.  Later  in  the  eighties  he  was  elected  county 
attorney,  and  after  his  retirement  from  office  moved  to  Portland, 
Oregon,  where  he  died  twelve  or  fifteen  years  ago.  Judge  John- 
son was  a  man  of  more  than  the  ordinary  ability.  He  was  pos- 
sessed of  a  fair  education  and  was  quite  studions.  He  possessed 
a  quick  and  logical  mind,  and  would  have  been  a  splendid  trial 
laAvyer  if  he  had  been  more  aggressive  and  possessed  of  con- 
fidence in  his  own  ability.  He  was  regarded  as  one  of  the  ablest 
trial  lawyers  in  the  county. 

C.  J.  Short  came  to  Minnesota  in  1856  and  settled  in  North- 
field,  where  he  engaged  in  surveying.  He  was  educated-  in  the 
Vermont  State  University,  where  he  graduated  in  1855.  He  com- 
menced the  study  of  law  in  1857,  with  Bachelor  &  Buckam,  of 
Faribault,  and  in  1858  was  admitted  to  practice.  In  the  spring 
of  1859  he  removed  to  Austin  and  formed  a  partnership  with 
Ormanzo  Allen,  which  continued  for  several  years.  He  was 
elected  county  attorney  in  1860  and  held  that  office  in  1860-61- 
62-63-65-66-69  and  70.  He  then  moved  to  the  town  of  Dexter, 
in  this  county,  where  he  engaged  in  farming  for  six  years.  In 
1881  he  returned  to  Austin,  where  he  resided  until  his  death. 
He  lacked  the  force  and  energy  necessary  to  make  him  a  suc- 
cessful lawyer.  He  was  studious,  and  was  reputed,  in  his  day, 
to  be  the  most  scholarly  lawyer  at  the  bar. 

George  M.  Cameron  came  to  Austin,  November  27,  1856.  He 
was  a  Canadian  by  birth  and  educated  in  the  district  school  and 
at  the  State  University  at  Madison,  "Wisconsin.  In  1858  he  was 
admitted  to  the  bar  at  Austin  to  practice  in  the  courts  of  jNIinne- 
sota.  He  always  enjoyed  a  good  practice  while  he  lived  and 
was  in  practice.  He  was  elected  to  the  office  of  probate  judgf  in 
1860  and  was  again  elected  in  1876  and  1878.  He  was  the  first 
mayor  of  the  city  of  Austin.  He  wa.s  honorable  in  his  profession 
and  ranked  high  as  a  trial  lawyer.    When  not  serving  as  probate 


judge  he  was  constantly  in  active  practice  nntil  he  retired  in 
1887.  He  possessed  a  logical  mind  and  a  keen  perception  of 
what  a  controversy  in  question  was  about.  He  was  looked  upon 
as  an  able  and  honest  lawyer.  The  fact  of  his  being  repeatedly 
chosen  to  important  offices  testifies  as  to  his  popularity  as  a  man 
and  recognition  of  his  worth  as  a  citizen.  He  was  engaged  as 
chief  or  associate  counsel  in  all  of  the  important  eases  that  were 
tried  in  this  county  while  he  was  in  active  practice.  He  was 
kind  and  benevolent  to  the  poor.  His  charges  for  his  services 
were  reasonable  and  just.  In  1887  his  mind  gave  way,  and  he 
remained  on  his  farm  near  Brownsdale  in  this  county  until  the 
time  of  his  death. 

In  1866  Sherman  Page  and  E.  0.  Wheeler  came  to  Austin  and 
formed  a  partnership  in  the  practice  of  law.  Mr.  AVheeler  coming 
direct,  it  is  believed,  from  New  York,  which  was  his  home,  Mr. 
Page  coming  from  Decorah,  Iowa.  Prior  to  that  he  had  been 
at  Lancaster,  "Wisconsin,  for  a  number  of  years  engaged  as  super- 
intendent of  the  schools  of  both  Decorah  and  Lancaster.  Mr. 
Page  was  originally  from  Vermont.  The  firm  of  Page  &  AVheeler 
continued  until  the  election  of  Mr.  Page  as  judge  of  this  district 
in  1872.  They  did  a  large  commercial  business  and  also  dealt 
largely  in  real  estate.  Mr.  Wheeler  was  a  tine  office  lawyer,  as 
well  as  a  good  counselor.  After  Mr.  Page  was  elected  judge 
Mr.  Wheeler  continued  the  practice  of  law  either  alone  or  in 
partnership  with  his  brother,  R.  B.  Wheeler,  until  1879,  when 
he  moved  to  Auburn,  New  York,  to  engage  in  the  practice  of  his 
profession  with  Judge  Howland  of  that  city.  Judge  Page  re- 
mained upon  the  bench  until  his  term  of  office  expired  January  1, 
1880.  He  practiced  until  1882,  when  he  removed  to  California. 
Judge  Page  was  a  forcible  and  pleasant  speaker.  As  a  trial 
lawyer  he  had  few  equals,  if  any,  in  the  state. 

L.  Beauregard  practiced  law  for  a  short  time  in  Austin.  He 
was  a  law  student  in  the  office  of  Aaron  S.  Everest  and  was  ad- 
mitted to  the  bar  under  his  tutelage.  He  was  elected  county 
attorney,  but  subsequently  had  to  resign  the  office,  and  he  re- 
moved to  ITtali  and  from  there  to  New  ]\Iexico. 

In  1871  John  J\I.  Greenman  came  to  Austin.  He  was  a  native 
of  New  York,  but  when  a  young  man  removed  to  the  state  of 
Wisconsin.  He  formed  a  partnership  with  I.  N.  Hawkins  and 
llic  fii-in  (-(mtinued  initil  1873.  Tii  18D()  he  formed  a  partnership 
witli  R.  J.  Dowdall.  He  has  served  as  county  attorney,  city 
attorney  and  judge  of  probate.  Except  while  holding  the  office 
of  judge  of  probate  IMr.  Greenman  has  been  in  active  practice 
and  one  of  the  prominent  attorneys  of  this  county.  He  is  a 
pleasant  gentleman  and  a  good  lawyer. 

Mr.  Hawkins  discontinued  Ihe  ])ractice  of  law  after  tlie  dis- 


solution  of  the  firm  of  Greenmau  &  Hawkins.  He  served  as  city 
attorney,  and  in  1873  was  a  candidate  for  senator  but  was  de- 
feated for  that  office.  His  defeat  was  due  to  the  Grange  move- 
ment, which  swept  the  entire  state,  except  that  the  Republicans 
elected  their  candidate  for  governor.  Mr.  Hawkins  was  suffering 
from  a  wound,  which  he  had  received  in  the  civil  war.  He  was 
a  pleasant  and  amiable  gentleman,  and  was  a  man  possessed 
of  considerable  means.  He  removed  from  the  state  shortly  after 
his  defeat  for  the  legislature. 

In  the  early  fall  of  1871  Lafayette  French  came  to  Austin, 
and  at  the  September  term  of  court  of  that  year  was  admitted 
to  the  bar.  January  1,  1872,  he  formed  a  partnership  with  W. 
H.  Crandall  in  the  practice  of  law.  In  1878  the  firm  was  dis- 
solved, Mr.  Crandall  retiring  for  the  purpose  of  going  into  the 
insurance  business.  Mr.  Crandall  was  a  fair  lawyer,  but  the 
turmoil  and  strife  of  an  active  life  in  the  legal  profession  was 
distasteful  to  him.  Mr.  French  has  continued  in  the  practice  of 
his  profession  until  the  present  time. 

In  1870,  Eugene  B.  Crane  opened  an  office  and  commenced 
the  practice  of  law.  He  soon  engaged  in  the  real  estate  business. 
He  remained  in  Austin  for  several  years  and  afterwards  removed 
to  Minneapolis,  Minnesota,  where  he  is  engaged  in  his  profession. 

W.  H.  jMerrick  studied  law  with  his  father  in  ]\Iilwaukee, 
Wisconsin.  He  came  to  Austin  and  engaged  in  merchandise. 
Some  years  later  he  was  admitted  to  the  bar  and  practiced  four 
or  five  years.  In  1882  he  removed  to  Portland,  Oregon,  where 
he  now  resides. 

In  1875  or  1876  C.  C.  Kinsman  came  to  Austin  and  opened 
an  office  for  the  practice  of  law.  In  the  fall  of  1878  he  was 
nominated  and  elected  county  attorney.  In  January,  1880,  he 
declined  a  renomination  and  was  elected  court  commissioner. 
In  1881  he  moved  to  Cumberland.  Wisconsin,  where  he  continued 
in  practice  until  his  death.  He  was  a  well  read  lawyer,  but  lacked 
force  and  aggressiveness.  He  was  a  gentleman  of  splendid  habits 
and  a  good  citizen. 

In  1882  James  D.  Sheedy  was  admitted  to  the  bar  of  this  coun- 
ty. He  served  as  justice  of  the  peace  and  was  in  the  office  of 
Lafayette  French  about  four  and  a  half  years,  but  the  profession 
of  the  law  was  not  lucrative  enough  and  so,  finally,  he  drifted  into 
real  estate  and  became  connected  with  the  Alliance  Fire  and  Hail 
Insurance  Company  and  afterwards  became  president  of  that  com- 
pany. The  law  was  not  to  his  taste.  In  his  chosen  field  of  labor 
he  has  been  very  successful  and  is  a  prominent  worthy  citizen. 

In  1883  R.  B.  Wheeler,  who  succeeded  the  firm  (^f  E.  O. 
Wheeler  and  R.  B.  Wheeler,  removed  to  St.  Paul.  The  tinn  of 
Richardson  &  Day  succeeded  to  his  business. 


Richardson  &  Day  -were  young  men  who  had  graduated  at  our 
high  school  in  Austin.  They  did  a  commercial  and  real  estate 
business  similar  to  that  of  R.  B.  Wheeler.  They  associated  with 
them  L.  A.  Pierce,  who  came  from  Auburn,  New  York,  in  1887. 
Mr.  Pierce  was  an  able  lawyer,  but  his  desire  for  office  and  ex- 
travagant habits  prevented  him  from  succeeding  as  a  lawyer.  In 
the  fall  of  1887  AV.  E.  Richardson  and  F.  A.  Day  removed  to  Du- 
luth  in  this  state,  where  they  continued  to  follow  the  law  and  real 
estate  business. 

In  1887  Arthur  AV.  AVright  and  LaFayette  French  bought  out 
the  business  of  Richardson  &  Day  and  formed  a  co-partnership 
under  the  firm  name  of  French  &  Wright,  Mr.  Wright  looking 
after  the  real  estate  and  loans  of  the  office  and  Mr.  French  seemg 
to  the  law  business  of  the  firm.  Tliey  continued  in  business  until 
1898,  when  the  lirm  dissolved  by  mutual  consent,  ]\Ir.  Wright  suc- 
ceeding to  the  business  and  Air.  French  continuing  the  practice  of 
law  alone.  Since  then  Mr.  AVright  has  had  a  large  business  in 
commercial  law  and  real  estate.  He  was  elected  county  attorney 
and  re-elected  without  opposition  for  eight  years,  when  he  volun- 
tarily withdrew  as  a  candidate  for  that  office.  Perhaps  the  cou-aty 
was  never  more  fortunate  than  in  the  selection  of  Colonel  AVriiz:lit 
for  county  attorney.  For  honesty,  efficiency  and  ability  the  coun- 
ty has  been  well  served.  He  is  still  in  active  practice,  with  many 
years  of  usefulness  before  him.  He  served  as  major  in  the  Span- 
ish-Amei-ican  war  and  is  one  of  the  prominent  men  at  the  bar  in 
this  coiinty.  His  correct  life  and  high  sense  of  lionor  and  clean 
habits  make  him  justly  an  ornament  to  the  bar. 

In  1886  or  1887  Nathan  Kingsley  and  R.  E.  Shepherd  moved 
over  from  Chatfield,  Alinnesota,  to  Austin.  They  opened  an  office 
under  the  firm  name  of  Kingsley  &  Shepherd.  The  firm  continued 
until  Governor  Clou<i:h,  about  t^^'elve  years  ago,  appointed  Air. 
Kingsley  judge  of  the  tenth  judicial  district.  Both  gentlemen 
were  possessed  of  a  higli  sense  of  honor  and  were  leading  attor- 
neys here  until  the  dissolution  of  the  firm.  The  firm  was  continu- 
ously engaged  on  one  side  or  the  other  of  important  litigation  in 
this  and  adjoining  counties.  The  firm  did  a  successful  business. 
Air.  Kingsley  })eing  especially  strong  as  a  trial  lawyer.  Upon  the 
dissolution  of  the  firm  Air.  Shepherd  was  alone  some  two  weeks 
and  was  succeeded  by  tlie  firm  of  Shepherd  &  Catlierwood.  Air. 
Slicplni'd  was  ch'clcd  county  jittorncy  for  two  oi-  three  terms  and 
made  ;i  good  and  efficient  oriiccr.  lie  was  a  good  lawyer  and  an 
enterprising  citizen.  Ue  ])ossesse{l  a  lovable  nature.  conil)i]u^d 
with  Avit  ami  lininor.  that  made  him  wry  popular  with  his  brother 
lawyei-s.  Some  four  or  five  years  ago  tlie  firm  was  dissolved  and 
he  removed  to  liillings,  Alontana,  where  he  engaged  in  tlie  real 
estate   Mud    liankiu''-   business,   which    was  moi'c   congenial    to   his 


taste  than  the  practice  of  law.  His  partner,  S.  D.  Catherwood, 
succeeded  to  the  business  of  the  firm.  Mr.  Catherwood  spent 
most  of  his  life  in  Austin  or  in  the  adjoining  county  of  Freeborn. 
Pie  is  a  graduate  of  the  State  University  and  not  only  possesses 
a  good  academic  education,  but  is  Avell  grounded  in  the  law.  He 
was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1888,  and  has  since  been  engaged  in 
the  practice  at  the  city  of  Austin.  He  has  been  county  attorney 
for  tlu-ee  terms,  and  that  is  the  only  office  he  has  aspired  to.  He 
has  not  engaged  in  any  other  business  except  the  practice  of  law. 
He  stands  high  in  the  rank  of  lawyers  in  southern  Minnesota,  and 
in  the  state.  His  life  demonstrates  what  a  young  man  who  has 
fair  ability,  with  industry  and  close  attention  to  business  can  ac- 
complish in  a  lifetime.  ]\Ir.  Catherwood  is  in  the  prime  of  life  and 
enjoys  a  lucrative  business.  He  is  a  good  all  around  lawyer.  One 
year  ago  he  formed  a  co-partnership  with  J.  N.  Nicholsen,  and  the 
firm  promises  to  be  one  of  the  strongest  in  the  southern  part  of 
the  state. 

Mr.  Nicholsen  is  a  graduate  of  the  Austin  high  school,  read 
law  in  the  office  of  Kingsley  &  Shepherd,  and  attended  the  law 
school  at  Ann  Arbor,  Michigan.  He  was  thoroughly  equipped  for 
the  practice  of  his  profession  when  he  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in 
3902.  Shortly  after  his  admission  he  formed  a  partnership  with 
Frank  E.  Putnam  at  Blue  Earth,  under  the  firm  name  of  Putnam 
&  Nicholsen.  The  firm  continued  until  1909,  when  it  was  dis- 
solved, j\Ir.  Nicholsen  coming  to  Austin  and  forming  a  partner- 
ship with  S.  D.  Catherwood.  Tlie  firm  lias  a  Avide  and  extensive 

W.  W.  Ranney  is  a  graduate  of  the  law  department  in  the 
State  University  of  Iowa,  in  1876.  In  1878  he  located  at  Grand 
Meadow  in  this  county,  where  he  practiced  his  profession  for  a 
number  of  years.  He  then  removed  to  Austin,  where  he  was 
elected  to  the  office  of  probate  judge.  He  has  been  more  of  an 
office  than  a  trial  lawyer.  He  is  a  good  citizen  and  highly  re- 
spected by  all  who  know  him. 

In  1882  Lyman  D.  Baird  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  He  was 
city  attorney  of  Austin  in  1884.  Since  1885  he  has  confined  him- 
self chiefiy  to  the  real  estate  business,  in  which  he  has  been  a  de- 
cided success.  Mr.  Baird  is  considered  a  shrewd  man  of  business 
and  an  enterprising  and  public  spirited  citizen,  and  one  of  the 
most  progressive  young  men  in  the  city  of  Austin. 

In  April,  1884,  L.  F.  Clausen  moved  from  Blooming  Prairie  to 
Austin,  opened  an  office  and  engaged  in  the  practice  of  law  until 
about  1902,  when  he  removed  to  North  Dakota,  where  he  is  still 
engaged  in  the  practice  of  his  profes.sion.  Mr.  Clausen  was  elected 
county  attorney  of  this  county  a  short  time  after  moving  here. 
He  was  born  in  Mitchell  countv,  Iowa,  in  1856,  and  is  a  son  of 


Rev.  C.  L.  Clausen,  the  founder  of  the  Lutheran  church  at  Austin, 
and  one  of  the  earliest  ministers  of  that  denomination  in  Austin, 

In  1896  R.  J.  Dowdall,  a  Canadian  by  birth,  came  to  Austin 
and  formed  a  partnership  with  J.  M.  Greenman  for  the  practice 
of  law.  Mr.  Dowdall  was  a  gentleman  of  fine  ability  and  came 
from  a  family  of  some  prominence  in  Canada.  He  continiu-d  in 
the  practice  of  law  at  Austin  some  five  or  six  years,  when  he  re- 
moved to  the  northern  part  of  the  state.  He  was  a  strong  trial 
lawyer,  but  was  not  discriminating  enough  and  often  appeared 
on  the  wrong  side  of  a  ease. 

Ten  years  ago  T.  H.  Pridham  came  to  Austin  and  engaged  in 
the  practice  of  law  until  the  summer  of  1910.  Mr.  Pridham  was 
industrious  and  painstaking  in  the  business  entrusted  to  his  care. 
He  was  city  attorney  for  six  or  eight  years  and  resigned  that  office 
when  he  removed  to  Helena,  Montana.  He  is  a  young  man  of 
good  habits  and  cpiite  promising  in  his  profession. 

In  1900  Fay  W.  Greenman  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  He  is  a 
son  of  J.  M.  Greenman  and  upon  his  admission  became  a  member 
of  the  firm  of  Greenman  &  Dowdall,  the  name  being  changed  to 
Greenman,  Dowdall  &  Greenman.  "When  the  firm  was  dissolved 
and  his  father  elected  to  the  office  of  judge  of  probate,  he  prac- 
ticed his  profession  alone.  He  graduated  from  the  high  school  of 
Austin  with  honors.  He  is  a  young  man  of  good  habits,  studious 
and  industrious.  In  his  social  relations  he  is  a  most  agreeable 
young  man.  In  the  ten  years  that  he  has  been  in  practice  he  has 
built  up  a  good  business  for  a  young  man.  He  has  tried  a  good 
many  cases  and  many  with  credit  to  himself. 

In  1909  Frank  G.  Sasse  came  to  Austin  from  Fairmont,  IMinne- 
sota,  and  formed  a  co-partnership  with  LaFayette  French.  Mr. 
Sasse  graduated  from  the  academic  departnu^ut  of  the  State  Uni- 
versity witli  honor  in  1898  and  from  the  law  department  of  that 
institution  in  1900.  He  practiced  his  profession  at  St.  Charles, 
^Minnesota,  for  two  or  three  years,  when  he  removed  to  Fairmont 
where  lie  formed  a  partnership  under  the  name  of  Mathwig  & 
Sasse.  In  the  fall  of  1908  he  was  elected  county  attorney  of 
.Martin  cuiuity,  but  resigned  the  office  when  he  moved  to  Austin 
to  become  associated  with  ^Ir.  French.  He  is  very  studious  and 
has  all  the  qualifications  for  making  a  successful  lawyer. 

In  addition  to  the  lawyers  of  Austin  there  have  been  several 
at  LeRoy  village.  Grand  Meadow  village  and  the  village  of 
Rrownsdale.  F.  .M.  Goodykoontz  was  the  first  lawyer  at  the 
village  of  LeRoy,  coming  there  in  1867  from  Iowa.  He  formed  a 
co-partnership  with  J.  M.  AVykoff.  AVhen  the  firm  was  dissolved 
he  removed  to  Nora  SpriYigs,  and  from  there  to  Mason  City, 
Iowa,  and  in  1884  he  moved  to  South  Dakota.    He  was  a  lawyer 


of  a  good  deal  of  ability  and  his  removal  from  tlic  state  was  a 
decided  loss  to  the  profession. 

J.  M.  Wykofif  continued  to  do  business  alone,  but  his  practice 
has  been  confined  chietly  to  real  estate,  conveyance  and  office 

Joseph  McKnight  Avas  admitted  to  the  bar  at  Austin  in  1882. 
together  with  J.  P.  Trask,  E.  J.  Kingsbury  and  J.  S.  Bish.op. 
They  constituted  the  bar  at  LeRoy  until  about  1895. 

G.  W.  W.  Harden  is  a  graduate  of  the  law  school  of  the  State 
University,  has  been  village  attorney,  and  in  1901  was  elected  a 
member  of  the  state  legislature.  He  is  a  good  lav/yer  but  his 
work  is  confined  mostly  to  commercial  business  and  real  estate. 
He  is  still  in  practice  at  LeRoj^. 

Judge  Ranney  was  formerly  at  Grand  IMeadow,  but  being 
elected  judge  of  probate,  moved  to  Austin. 

About  1878  George  F.  Goodwin  opened  an  office  at  Grand 
Meadow.  In  1880  or  1881  he  was  elected  to  the  office  of  county 
attorjic}'.  Ho  prosecuted,  while  county  attorney,  the  case  of  the 
state  vs.  John  A.  Riley  for  attempt  to  murder  Judge  Page.  He 
was  assisted  in  that  case  by  Hon.  J.  M.  Burlingame,  of  Owatonna; 
Minnesota.  In  1884  he  removed  to  North  Dakota  and  was  elected 
attorney  geiieral  of  that  state  shortly  after  it  -was  admitted  into 
the  Union.  He  held  the  office  one  term  and  then  moved  to  Salt 
Lake  City,  Utah.  He  is  a  studious,  painstaking  young  lawyer, 
and  since  leaving  this  state  has  gained  considerable  prominence. 

Capt.  A.  J.  Hunt  came  to  Brownsdale  village  in  1873.  He  was 
formerly  from  Wisconsin,  He  opened  an  office  and  was  engaged 
in  the  practice  of  law  and  dealt  in  real  estate  until  1888,  when 
he  moved  to  Georgia. 

Otto  and  Carl  Baudler  are  graduates  of  tlie  Austin  liigh 
school,  and  from  the  law  department  of  the  State  University. 
They  commenced  the  practice  of  law  three  years  ago  at  Blooming- 
Prairie,  in  Steele  county.  In  1909  they  moved  to  Austin  and 
opened  an  office.  In  the  fall  of  1910  Otto  Baudler  was  elected 
county  attorney  of  this  county  by  a  handsome  vote.  They  are 
brothers  and  sons  of  William  Baudler,  who  is  one  of  the  pioneers 
of  Austin.  They  are  clean,  studious  young  men  and  they  promise 
to  be  quite  an  acquisition  to  the  bar.  This  comprises  the  law- 
yers who  reside  and  practiced  in  ]Mower  county. 

In  1890  A.  C.  Page  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  since  which  time 
he  has  been  in  the  office  of  L.  D.  Baird.  He  is  a  young  man  of 
exemplary  habits  and  is  given  more  to  real  estate  and  collections 
than  to  trial  practice.  At  present  he  is  alderman  at  large  in  the 
city  of  Austin. 

In  1903  Edward  P.  Kelly  was  admitted  to  the  bar.  For  three 
years  he  read  law  under  the  direction  of  Lafayette  Frencli  and 


attended  the  Summer  Law  School  at  Ann  Arbor,  Mich.,  for  two 
years.  After  his  admission  to  the  bar  he  formed  a  partnership 
•with  Lafayette  French  under  the  firm  name  of  French  &  Kelly, 
which  continued  until  1905,  when  he  removed  to  Carrington, 
N.  D.,  where  he  is  still  engaged  in  the  practice  of  law.  Mr. 
Kelly  is  well  equipped  for  the  practice  of  his  profession  and  from 
the  time  of  his  admission  until  the  present  time  he  has  met  with 
splendid  success  in  his  profession. 

In  1907  Henry  Weber,  Jr.,  was  admitted  to  practice  law.  He 
was  located  at  Dexter,  in  this  county,  and  continued  in  the 
practice  until  the  fall  of  1910,  when  he  was  elected  probate  judge 
of  this  county,  which  office  he  fills  at  the  present  time.  ^Ir. 
Weber  is  an  exemplary  citizen  and  his  honor  and  integrity  are 
beyond  question. 


Tliis  article  would  be  incomplete  Avithout  stating  some  of  tli'^ 
most  important  criminal  and  civil  cases  witli  which  the  lawyers 
of  this  county  were  connected. 

The  first  homicide  ease  was  that  of  Chauncey  Leverich.  Lever- 
ieh  was  in  a  saloon  in  Austin  in  the  month  of  August.  1856,  and 
was  killed  by  Horace  Silver  and  "William  Oliver.  Silver  and 
Oliver  were  arrested  for  assault  and  battery  and  Silver  fined 
$20.00  and  Oliver  $10.00.  The  prosecution  was  conducted  bj^ 
Jolm  Tift  and  the  defense  "i)y  Arron  S.  Everest  and  0.  Allen. 
When  the  defendants  learned  that  Leverich  would  not  recover, 
they  paid  their  fines  and  left  the  country.  Leverich  died  from 
the  wounds  he  received  a  Aveek  later.  The  county  Avas  ucav  and 
this  case  illustrates  the  ci-ude  Avay  in  Avliicli  justice  Avas  adminis- 
tered in  an  early  day. 

In  1868  John  and  Oliver  Potter  and  George  and  William  Keni]) 
with  others  Avere  arrested  for  killing  Chauncey  Knapp.  C.  J. 
Short  appeared  for  the  state  and  John  Q.  Farmer,  of  Fillmore 
county,  Avho  afterAvards  became  district  judge  of  this  district, 
and  his  brother,  J.  D.  Farmer,  appeared  for  the  defendants. 
George  and  AVilliam  Kemp  were  tried  and  acquitted.  A  change 
of  A'enue  was  granted  the  Potters  and  the  case  sent  to  Fillmore 
county.  Judge  Donaldson  Avas  the  presiding  judge.  None  of  the 
parties  Avas  ever  punished  for  tliis  foul  murder. 

In  187:3  the  case  of  tlie  State  of  ^Minnesota  against  OK'  Bang, 
charged  Avith  homicide,  Avas  tried.  Bang  Avas  convicted  of  man- 
shiughter  and  sentenced  for  four  years  in  the  state  prison.  The 
prosecution  Avas  conducted  ])y  Vj.  O.  Wheeler,  the  then  county 
Mflonicy.  Till-  (Icrcndaiit 's  couscl  was  Sliei'mau  Page,  .ludge 
Saiiiurl   Lord  |)resi(ling. 


The  most  important  criminal  case  was  tried  at  the  March 
term  of  the  district  court  in  1881,  the  State  of  Minnesota  vs.  John 
A.  Riley.  Riley  was  charged  with  an  attempt  to  assassinate  Judge 
Sherman  Page.  George  P.  Goodwin  was  the  then  prosecuting 
attorney,  and  he  was  ably  assisted  by  J.  M.  Burlingame,  Esq.,  an 
able  attorney  from  Owatonna.  The  defendant  was  represented 
by  Lafayette  French,  G.  M.  Cameron,  of  this  city,  and  W.  W.  Er- 
win,  of  St.  Paul.  Judge  Daniel  A.  Dickenson,  who  was  then  dis- 
trict judge  at  Mankato  and  later  one  of  the  associate  justices  of 
tlie  Supreme  Bench,  was  called  by  Judge  Farmer  to  preside  in  his 
place.  The  case  was  an  important  one.  It  probably  created  as 
much  talk  and  newspaper  comment  as  any  case  tried  in  the 
county.  Judge  Page,  whom  Riley  was  charged  with  attempt 
to  assassinate,  was  a  prominent  person.  Riley  was  brought 
by  Pinkerton's  detective  from  the  neighboring  state  of  Wiscon- 
sin into  Minnesota  to  answer  to  the  charge.  He  was  confined  in  a 
jail  outside  the  county.  The  sentiment  in  favor  of  and  against 
Page  was  intensely  partisan.  There  was  a  great  deal  of  feeling 
displayed  during  the  trial  by  the  atto"rneys  and  parties  interested 
in  t]ie  case.  After  a  lengthy  trial  the  jury  brought  in  a  verdict 
of  "not  guilty"  and  Riley  was  discharged  from  custody.  The 
case  Avas  ably  handled  by  the  attorneys  for  the  state.  Mr.  Erwin 
made  (he  closing  argument  for  the  defense.  He  was  then  in  his 
prime,  forty  or  forty-five  years  of  age,  and  had  a  great  reputation 
as  a  criminal  lawyer.  Probably  his  argument  was  the  finest  ever 
made  to  a  jury  in  this  county.    Two  years  ago  he  died  in  Florida. 

In  January,  1874,  was  tried  the  case  of  the  State  of  Minnesota 
vs.  AV.  D.  Jaynes.  The  defendant  was  indicted  on  the  charge  of 
rape.  The  immediate  parties  stood  high  in  social  circles  and  the 
arrest  of  Jaynes  created  a  great  sensation  in  this  county.  The 
state  was  represented  by  LaFayette  French,  the  county  attornej^, 
and  Colonel  Kerr,  of  St.  Paul,  and  the  defendant  by  E.  0.  Wheeler 
and  Gordon  E.  Cole,  of  Faribault.  Judge  Page  was  presiding 
judge.  The  first  trial  resulted  in  the  conviction  of  Jaynes,  but 
a  new  trial  was  granted  on  the  ground  that  the  prisoner  was  not 
present  in  court  but  was  confined  in  the  county  jail  at  the  time 
the  jury  returned  the  verdict.  The  case  was  afterwards  tried 
twice.  The  second  time  the  jury  disagreed  and  the  third  time 
Jaynes  was  acquitted.  In  the  last  two  trials  the  state  was  repre- 
sented by  Lafayette  French  and  M.  J.  Severance,  of  Mankato, 
and  the  defendant  by  Wheeler  and  Cole.  During  the  trial  there 
was  an  immense  crowd,  and  only  about  half  of  the  curious  ones 
could  get  into  the  court  house.  i\[.  J.  Severance  closed  for  the 
•state  and  Gordon  E.  Cole  for  the  defendant.  They  were  both  able 
lawyers  and  had  a  state  wide  reputation. 

In  June,  1898,  the  case  of  the  State  of  .Minnesota    v.s.   :iiilt 


Williams  was  tried.  "Williams  was  charged  with  the  murder  of 
one  Flymi.  Williams'  mother  kept  a  hotel  in  the  city  of  Austin. 
Flyun  and  "Williams  had  been  drinking  one  evening,  and  while 
engaged  in  conversation  with  t\A'o  girls  who  worked  for  ^Irs. 
Williams,  ]\Ii]t  shot  Flynn.  Williams  was  a  young  man,  twenty- 
six  years  of  age,  who  had  been  petted  and  humored  by  his  mother. 
He  was  mixed  up  in  several  fights  before  this  one.  The  state  was 
represented  by  S.  D.  Catherwood,  who  was  then  county  attorney, 
and  Lafayette  French.  Greenman  &  Dowdall  represented  thu 
defendant.  Judge  Whitoek  was  the  presiding  judge.  The  trial 
lasted  for  several  days.  There  was  a  good  deal  of  excitement 
during  the  trial.  The  jury  found  the  defendant  guilty  as  charged 
in  the  indictment.  Afterwards  W.  W.  Erwin  was  called  into  the 
ease  and  a  motion  made  for  a  new  trial  and  argued  and  the  same 
denied  by  the  court.  An  application  to  the  pardoning  board  was 
made  in  behalf  of  Williams  and  Erwin  succeeded  in  getting  Wil- 
liams' sentence  commuted  from  murder  in  the  first  degree  to 
murder  in  the  second  degree,  and  he  was  sentenced  to  the  peni- 
tentiary for  life.  He  and  Iris  counsel  stipulated  that  no  further 
pardon  or  commutation  of  his  sentence  would  be  asked  for.  Too 
much  credit  cannot  be  given  to  Mr.  Catherwood,  the  then  county 
attorney,  in  his  management  of  the  case.  Flynn 's  body  had  been 
shipped  to  Buti'alo  within  a  day  or  two  after  the  shooting  and 
without  Mr.  Catherwood 's  knowledge.  There  were  several  things 
in  the  prosecution  that  would  have  prevented  the  conviction  had 
it  not  been  for  the  skill  and  industry  displayed  by  the  county  at- 
torney. The  conviction  of  Williams,  who  had  an  unsavory  repu- 
tation, Avas  due  to  the  efforts  of  Mr.  Catherwood. 

Jn  1900  John  B.  Anderson  was  indicted,  charged  with  the 
crime  of  murder.  Anderson  was  a  farmer  living  in  the  town  of 
^larshall,  and  had  a  wife  and  several  small  children.  He  killed 
his  wife  by  beating  her  brains  out  with  a  flat-iron.  When  the 
neighbors  discovered  her  she  was  lying  on  the  floor  in  a  pool  of 
blood.  A  nursing  child  who  had  attempted  to  reach  its  mother's 
breast  to  nurse  had  crawled  through  tliis  blood.  Anderson 
was  found  concealed  in  a  straw  stack.  It  was  a  horrible  crime 
and  the  community  was  very  much  wrought  up.  On  his  arraign- 
ment he  entered  a  plea  of  not  guilty.  The  state  was  repre- 
sented by  R.  E.  Sheperd,  the  then  county  attorney  of  this  county, 
and  the  defendant  by  Lafayette  French,  who  had  consented  to  ap- 
pear for  Anderson  through  the  entreaties  of  his  friends.  After 
a  thorougli  investigation  of  the  matter,  the  defendant's  counsel 
became  convinced  that  Anderson  was  insane  at  the  time  he  com- 
mitted the  crime.  He  had  fallen  from  a  mast  of  a  ship  years 
before,  receiving  an  injury  to  his  head,  from  which  he  suffei'ed 
thereafter.     This  injury  to  the  brain,  liis  counsel  l)elievod.  had 


affected  his  mind  to  sucli  an  extent  that  he  was  not  responsible 
for  the  act,  but  that  he  was  a  man  that  onght  not  to  be  turned 
loose,  and  for  the  protection  of  society  ought  to  be  confined  in 
some  safe  place.  After  mature  deliberation  and  a  conference  witli 
the  attorney  general,  it  was  deemed  advisable  to  have  him  with- 
draw his  plea  of  not  guilty  and  to  enter  a  plea  of  guilty  of  mur- 
der in  the  second  degree.  The  action  of  the  court  and  the  counsel 
in  the  disposition  of  this  case  was  generally  commended  through- 
out the  county. 

In  January,  1903,  Frank  W.  Bell  was  indicted  and  charged 
with  murder  in  the  first  degree.  The  state  was  represented  by 
Col.  A.  W.  Wright,  the  then  county  attorney,  and  S.  D.  Cather- 
wood,  and  the  defendant  was  represented  by  Lafayette  French. 
Judge  Kingsley  was  presiding  judge.  Bell  was  the  station  agent 
of  the  Chicago  Great  Western  Railway  Company  at  Elkton,  in 
this  county.  A  man  by  the  name  of  Cole  had  shipped  a  car  of 
lumber  to  Elkton  to  be  unloaded  and  to  be  hauled  by  team  near 
the  village  of  Grand  Meadow.  Cole  employed  Nelson  S.  Green, 
with  his  team,  to  draw  the  lumber.  The  ear  had  been  at  Elkton 
for  several  days  and  there  was  some  demurrage  charges  against 
it.  Green  came  after  the  lumlier  in  the  morning  but  Bell  refused 
to  break  the  seal  and  open  the  car  until  the  demurrage  charges 
were  paid.  Gr'^en  was  a  large,  muscular  man,  while  Bell  was 
a  dinjinutlve,  frail  man.  Green  attempted  to  break  the  seal  of 
the  car  and  Bell  tried  to  prevent  him.  Cole  telephoned  Green 
to  break  the  seal  and,  if  necessary,  break  Bell's  head.  Green 
picked  up  a  piece  of  board  for  the  purpose,  it  was  claimed  by  the 
state,  to  l)reak  tlie  car  seal,  but  defendant  claimed  that  it  was  for 
the  purpose  of  striking  Bell.  Bell  drew  a  revolver  and  shot 
Green  twice.  Either  shot  would  have  proved  fatal  in  time.  Green 
died  within  a  few  hours  afterwards.  There  was  a  great  deal  of 
feeling.  Green  being  a  prominent  farmer,  a  Mason  and  a  Grand 
Army  man.  It  was  almost  impossible  at  the  first  trial  to  secure 
an  impartial  verdict.  The  jury  rendered  a  verdict  of  giiilty 
within  a  few  moments  after  retiring.  The  defendant  moved  for 
a  new  trial,  which  was  granted,  and  a  special  term  held  in  March. 
1903.  On  a  second  trial  the  defendant  was  acquitted.  The 
trial  of  this  case  illustrates  how  easily  public  sentiment  can  be 
changed  by  a  knowledge  of  the  facts.  At  the  beginning  of  the 
first  trial  the  people  clamored  for  the  defendant's  conviction,  but 
at  the  second  trial  public  sentiment  had  changed  and  he  was  ac- 
quitted. Bell  was  a  weak  man  physically  and  mentally.  He  was 
unbalanced,  and  shortly  after  the  last  trial  lie  became  insane  and 
was  sent  to  an  asylum  in  IMichigan. 

In  1871  the  board  of  county  commissioners  of  Mower  county 
commenced  an  action  against  Sylvester  Smith.     Smith  had  been 


county  treasurer  of  the  county  for  eight  years.  The  system  of 
bookkeeping  in  vogue  in  the  several  county  offices  was  very  lax 
and  crude.  Smith  was  considered  an  honest  man  hy  people  who 
knew  him,  but  an  accountant  hired  by  the  county  to  examine 
the  books  found  that  he  was  short  about  $42,000.  Suit  was 
brought  by  the  county  against  Smith  to  recover  this  sum.  Page 
&  Wheeler  and  Bachelor  &  Buckham  were  attorneys  for  the 
county  and  Cameron  &  Johnson,  Gordon  E.  Cole  and  R.  A.  Jones 
appeared  as  attorneys  for  Smith.  The  case  was  referred  to  three 
referees,  whom  the  court  appointed  to  hear  and  try  the  ease  and 
report  judgment.  After  a  somewhat  lengthy  trial  the  referees 
so  appointed  found  a  judgment  of  about  $20,000  against  Smith. 
Smith  appealed  the  case  to  the  Supreme  Court  and  the  case  was 
sent  back  for  another  hearing.  Mr.  Page  in  the  meantime  had 
been  elected  judge  of  the  District  Court,  and  having  been  of  the 
counsel  was  ineligible  to  sit  and  try  the  case.  The  parties  agreed 
and  the  court  appointed  three  other  referees.  The  case  came 
on  for  second  trial,  and  Lafayette  French,  the  then  county  attor- 
ney, E.  0.  Wheeler  and  Bachelor  &  Buckham  appeared  for  the 
county,  and  Cameron  &  Johnson.  Gordon  E.  Cole  and  R.  A.  Jones 
appeared  for  Mr.  Smith.  After  a  lengthy  trial  the  referees  re- 
ported judgment  in  favor  of  Mr.  Smith.  The  county  records  were 
kept  so  imperfectly  that  it  was  impossible  to  tell  whether  Smith 
should  be  charged  with  the  shortage  or  not.  Smith  was  believed 
to  be  honest,  and  that  the  discrepancy  of  the  books  and  shortage 
in  his  accounts  were  due  to  the  loose  manner  of  keeping  the 
books  and  accounts. 

In  1870  a  complaint  was  sworn  out  against  Sherman  Page  for 
tearing  up  a  sidewalk.  A  warrant  was  issued  and  placed  in 
the  hands  of  Allan  Mollison,  the  then  sheriff,  for  service.  He 
went  to  the  office  of  Page  &  Wheeler  to  make  the  arrest  late  one 
afternoon.  After  a  scuffle  and  words  with  the  defendant,  who 
refused  to  go,  the  curtains  were  pulled  down  and  Page  lit  his 
lamps.  The  sheriff  then  stepped  to  the  window  and  called  his 
deputy,  Colos  Fenton,  to  a.ssist  him.  He  found  the  door  leading 
to  the  office  locked,  and  after  calling  to  Page  to  unlock  the  door 
and  a  refusal  on  his  i)art  to  do  .so,  he  knocked  the  door  down 
and  went  in  and  arrested  him.  Mollison  was  sued  by  Page  for 
false  imprisonment,  holding  that  as  the  charge  was  a  mere  mis- 
demeanor he  could  not  legally  be  arrested  after  dark.  Fenton 
Avas  sued  for  breaking  the  door  and  entering  the  office  in  an  action 
of  trespass.  The  case  against  Fenton  cmiiic  on  for  trial  at  the 
September  term  in  1871.  Page  &  Wheilcr  wci'c  tlicir  own  attor- 
neys and  G.  ^L  Cameron  and  R.  A.  Jones,  of  Rochester,  were 
attorneys  for  Fciitoii.  The  case  came  on  for  trial  before  Judge 
Donaldson  and  a  jui'V.     The  case  hinged  largely  upon  llie  point 


whether  the  ari-est  was  in  the  night  time.  Mr.  Page  summed 
up  for  the  plaintiff  and  R.  A.  Jones  for  the  defendant.  It  is  a 
comment  on  the  crude  manner  in  which  the  courts  were  conducted 
in  those  days  to  note  that  all  the  counsel  did  in  the  summing  up 
of  the  case  was  to  abuse  each  other.  The  .jury  after  being  charged 
returned  a  verdict  in  favor  of  the  plaintiff  for  $(500.  Judgment 
was  entered  and  later  paid  in  full. 

In  1884  a  fire  occurred  at  Brownsdale  in  the  saloon  and  cloth- 
ing store  of  George  E.  Rolph.  The  insurance  companies,  three 
in  number,  under  a  pretext  that  they  were  investigating  the  facts, 
required  that  Rolph  submit  to  an  examination,  before  a  justice 
of  the  peace  at  Grand  Meadow.  The  examination  disclosed  noth- 
ing but  what  the  loss  was  a  legitimate  one  and  ought  to  be  paid 
by  the  insurance  companies,  but  they  refused  to  pay  it.  Proofs 
of  loss  had  not  been  made  or  submitted  to  the  companies.  Later 
proofs  of  loss  were  made  and  served  upon  the  companies.  They 
were  returned  and  rejected  on  the .  ground  that  they  were  not 
made  within  the  time  required  by  the  policies.  Suit  was  then 
commenced  against  the  companies  to  recover  the  insurance.  The 
companies  answered  and  claimed  that  Rolph  had  set  fire  and 
destroyed  the  property;  that  he  had  sworn  falsely  in  his  state- 
ment in  regard  to  the  amount  of  property  he  had;  that  proofs 
of  loss  were  not  furnished  in  time  as  provided  in  the  policies,  and 
that  the  policies  were  void  because  he  had  no  license  to  sell  in- 
toxicating liquors  at  the  time.  The  case  against  the  insurance 
companies  came  on  for  trial  before  Judge  Farmer  and  a  jury. 
Lafayette  French  appeared  for  the  plaintiff  and  Laing  &  Moly- 
neaux  appeared  for  the  defendants.  The  plaintiff  had  to  rely 
for  the  most  part  upon  a  waiver.  The  jury  found  a  verdict  for 
the  plaintiff  in  the  three  cases.  One  of  the  insurance  companies, 
the  Concordia,  of  Milwaukee,  after  the  trial,  paid  up  the  amount 
recovered  against  that  company.  The  other  two  companies,  the 
Milwaukee  Mechanics'  Mutual  and  The  German,  of  Freeport,  made 
a  motion  for  a  new  trial,  which  was  denied,  and  the  cases  were 
taken  to  the  supreme  court  on  appeal.  "While  the  two  civil  suits 
against  the  companies  were  pending  in  the  supreme  court  Rolph 
was  arrested,  charged  with  the  crimes  of  arson  and  perjury.  He 
had  testified  in  the  civil  suits  as  to  what  property  was  in  the  build- 
ing at  the  time  of  the  fire  and  that  he  did  not  know  how  the  fire 
took  place.  In  the  criminal  cases  of  the  state  vs.  Rolph,  J.  M. 
Greenman,  the  tlien  county  attorney,  and  J.  W.  Lusk,  of  St.  Paul, 
appeared  for  t'.'c  state  and  John  A.  Lovely  and  Lafayette  French 
appeared  for  the  defendant.  The  state  claimed  that  Rolph  fired 
the  building,  and  that  some  of  the  property,  a  large  anuiunt  of 
liquor,  was  r('mi)V('<l  l)y  Rolph  and  l)uri('(l  upon  llie  farm  of  one 
"Warren.     Tlic    insin-aiicc    coinpanics    had     liircd     Pinkerton    de- 


tectives  and  they  had  found  the  liquor  concealed  on  Warren's 
farm.  Warren  and  his  wife  had  made  the  confession  to  the 
detectives  that  they  had  assisted  Rolph  in  concealing  the  liquor. 
Rolph  was  tried  on  the  indictment  charging  him  with  perjury. 
Counsel  for  the  state  and  for  the  defendant  agreed  to  submit 
the  case  upon  the  evidence  and  the  judge's  charge,  without  argu- 
ment, although  it  was  well  known  that  J.  W.  Lusk,  who  appeared 
for  the  state,  was  one  of  the  most  able  and  skillful  jury  advocates 
while  John  A.  Lovely  had  a  reputation  for  being  a  most  eloquent 
and  able  advocate.  The  jury  retired  and  returned  a  verdict  of 
"Not  guilty.''  The  state  dismissed  the  other  indictments.  The 
appeal  cases  of  the  insurance  companies  were  likewise  dis- 
missed. The  liquor,  Avhich  had  been  found  on  Warren's 
farm  by  the  detectives,  was  turned  over  to  the  county  attor- 
ney to  lie  used  upon  the  trial  of  the  ease  against  Rolph.  After 
the  termination  of  the  criminal  cases  the  court  entered  an  order 
for  the  county  attorney  to  turn  over  the  liquor  to  his  counsel, 
who  had  taken  a  bill  of  sale  of  the  liquor  from  Rolph.  After 
the  arrest  the  liquor  was  safely  kept  in  the  cellar  of  the  county 
attorney.  When  the  liquor  was  opened  and  counsel  were  ready 
to  dispose  of  it,  they  found  that  the  liquor  had  been  drawn  out 
of  the  casks  and  water  substituted  in  its  place.  While  consider- 
able fun  was  had  at  the  expense  of  the  county  attorney,  no  one 
thought  seriously  that  he  was  responsible  for  disposing  of  the 

Probably  the  most  important  civil  case  that  was  ever  tried 
in  this  county  was  the  suit  brought  by  Louis  Rex  Clay,  by  his 
guardian  ad  litem,  Ida  B.  Clay  vs.  the  Chicago,  Milwaukee  & 
St.  Paul  Railroad  Company  and  Thomas  H.  Bennett,  to  recover 
damages,  Avhich  the  plaintiff  sustained  at  the  village  of  Lyle, 
^Minnesota,  on  December  7,  1905.  The  case  came  on  for  trial  at 
the  January  term,  1907.  On  the  first  trial  the  jury  disagreed 
and  the  second  trial  of  the  case  came  on  a  few  weeks 
later.  At  both  trials  the  plaintiflf,  Louis  Rex  Clay,  was  unable 
to  be  present  in  court.  On  the  suggestion  of  his  counsel,  the  jury 
and  the  lawyers,  clerk  of  court  and  the  sheriff,  as  well  as  Judge 
Kingsley,  who  jircsidcd  at  the  trial,  adjourned  to  his  father's 
residence  and  his  testimony  was  given  while  l.ying  in  bed.  He 
was  paralyzed  from  his  should(>rs  down.  He  wa.s  a  mere  skeleton 
and  unable  to  use  any  part  of  his  body  from  below  his  head, 
lint  his  iniiid  iind  intellect  was  as  cb'ar  as  it  ever  was.  He  entered 
the  ciniiloyinciit  of  liic  compniiy  in  the  fall  of  1905  as  a  freight 
brakcman.  He  wa.s  struck  by  an  elevated  jilatform  at  the  station 
of  Lyle  and  was  thereby  swept  from  the  west  side  of  a  coal  car 
lui  whicli  lie  was  hanging  and  Ihcreliy  injured.  Tlie  plaintiff  was 
;i    vdnnii'   in;in    nlinnt    eighteen    years   ohl,    bi'ight    and    intelligent. 


His  father  was  an  old  conductor  in  the  employ  of  the  {'Oiiipany. 
The  negligence  charged  in  the  complaint  was  that  the  company 
constructed  and  maintained  the  elevated  platform  in  question 
in  too  close  proximity  to  passing  cars;  that  without  any  advice 
or  instruction  or  information  as  to  the  dangerous  character  of 
the  platform,  he  was  directed  and  ordered  to  ride  upon  a  gondola 
car  of  unusual  width  by  this  platform.  The  second  trial  lasted 
several  days,  and  when  the  was  submitted  to  them  the  jury 
returned  a  verdict  for  $35,000  against  the  company.  Eighteen 
days  after  the  verdict  the  plaintiff  died  from  his  injuries.  The 
company  made  a  motion  for  a  judgment,  notwithstanding  the 
verdict,  and  in  case  that  was  denied,  for  a  neAv  trial.  Both  motions 
were  denied  and  the  case  was  taken  on  appeal  to  the  supreme 
court.  Owing  to  the  importance  of  the  case  the  rule  was  sus- 
pended and  counsel  were  allowed  as  much  time  as  they  wished 
for  argument,  and  were  unlimited  as  to  the  number  of  counsel 
who  were  to  argue  the  case.  The  case  was  ably  argued  by  counsel 
for  the  railroad  company,  but  after  due  consideration  by  the  court 
the  case  was  affirmed.  In  the  trial  the  plaintiff  was  represented 
by  Lovely  &  Dunn  and  Lafayette  French,  and  the  defendant  by 
S.  D.  Catherwood  and  M.  B.  AVebber,  of  Winona.  On  May  4, 
1908,  the  company  paid  this  verdict, which  amounted  to  .$37,857.93, 
the  largest  verdict  in  a  personal  injury  case  that  the  supreme 
court  of  this  state  has  ever  affirmed. 



Old  Land  Grant  Roads  With  Extensive  Concessions — Roadbed 
Graded  Through  Mower  County — Engine  Reaches  Le  Roy — 
Freight  Car  Passes  Through  Mower  County  from  New  York 
to  St.  Paul — Later  Growth  and  Development  of  the  Railroad 
System  in  the  County — Chicago,  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul — 
Chicago  Great  Western — Illinois  Central. 

]\Iower  ccmnty  is  crossed  by  the  lines  of  three  great  railways: 
The  Chicago,  ^Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul,  the  Chicago  Great  Western 
and  the  Dubuque  &  Sioux  City,  operated  by  the  Illinois  Central. 
The  Chicago,  ^Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  has  two  lines  and  five  divisions 
in  the  county.  The  Iowa  &  ^Minnesota  line  has  stations  in  this 
county  at  Lansing.  Ramsey,  Austin,  Rose  Creek,  Adams,  Taopi 
and  Lc  Rov.     The  :\Lis()ii  Citv  to  Austin  line  lias  stations  in  tliis 


county  at  Lansing,  Ramsey,  Varco  and  Lyle.  These  two  lines 
embrace  the  following  divisions :  Iowa  and  Minnesota ;  Mason  City 
to  Austin;  St.  Paul,  Minneapolis  and  Des  Moines;  and  the  Minne- 
apolis, St.  Paul  &  Kansas  City.  The  Southern  Minnesota  division 
has  stations  in  this  county  at  Ramsey,  Brownsdale,  Dexter  and 
Grand  Meadow.  The  Chicago  Great  Western  has  also  three  lines 
in  this  county.  The  Minneapolis  &  St.  Paul-Council  Bluffs  & 
Omaha  Short  line  has  stations  in  this  county  at  Waltham,  May- 
ville,  Austin,  Varco  and  Lyle.  The  Minneapolis  &  St.  Paul- 
Chicago  &  Dubuque  line,  which  in  this  county  is  identical  with 
the  Minneapolis  &  St.  Paul-Des  Moines,  St.  Joseph,  Leavenworth 
&  Kansas  City  short  line,  has  stations  in  this  county  at  Sargeant, 
Renova,  Elkton  and  Taopi.  The  Minneapolis,  St.  Paul,  Red  "Wing, 
Rochester  and  Osage  line,  leased  from  the  "Wisconsin,  Minnesota 
&  Pacific  Railway  Company,  has  stations  at  Racine  and  Le  Roy 
in  this  county.  The  Dubuque  &  Sioux  City,  operated  by  the  Illi- 
nois Central,  has  one  branch,  the  Cedar  Falls  &  Minnesota  in  this 
county,  and  one  station,  Lyle. 

These  roads  have  been  built  at  various  times,  and  under  vary- 
ing circumstances.  The  proposition  for  a  railroad  in  Mower 
county  was  made  in  1854,  when  the  JMinnesota  &  Northwestern 
Railroad  Company  was  incorporated  by  the  legislature  to  con- 
struct a  line  from  Lake  Superior  by  way  of  St.  Paul,  by  the  most 
practicable  route  to  the  Iowa  line.  This  company  was  given  a 
grant  of  alternate  sections,  six  sections  wide,  on  either  side  of 
the  road  it  should  build  from  the  Iowa  line  northward,  anywhere 
^between  ranges  9  and  17.  This  would  have  made  it  possible  for 
the  company  to  have  secured  control  of  considerable  land  in 
Mower  county.  In  1838  the  grant  to  this  company  was  made 
still  more  definite,  and  inchuling  the  building  of  a  line  road  that 
should  leave  the  Iowa  line  west  of  section  thirteen  and  pass 
through  Austin.  The  provisions  of  the  grant  were  not  complied 
with  by  the  road,  and  the  company  never  came  into  possession 
of  the  grant.  In  1858  the  grade  for  the  Minneapolis  &  Cedar 
Valley  road  was  made  in  this  county.  Then  came  nine  years  of 
waiting,  during  which  time  various  propositions  and  wildcat  plans 
were  afloat.  After  this,  on  September  9,  1867,  the  first  railroad 
engine  ever  operated  in  I\lower  comity  reached  Le  Roy. 

The  Minnesota  &  Northwestern.  On  June  29.  1854,  the  T'nited 
States  congress  passed  an  act  to  aid  the  territory  of  ^Minnesota 
in  the  construction  of  a  railroad  from  the  southern  line  of  the 
territory,  commencing  at  a  point  between  ranges  9  and  17;  thence 
by  way  of  St.  Paul,  by  the  most  practicable  route  to  the  eastern 
line  of  the  territory  of  Lake  Superior.  The  act  granted  every 
alternate  section  of  land,  six  sections  in  width,  designated  by  odd 
numbers  on  both  sides  of  road  as  it  should  be  built.    In  the  terri- 


torial  legislature  of  1854,  Joseph  R.  Brown  introduced  a  bill  to 
incorporate  the  Minnesota  &  Northwestern  Railroad  Company. 
It  was  passed  at  midnight,  on  the  last  day  of  the  session,  and, 
contrary  to  expectation,  Governor  Gorman  signed  it.  The  route 
designated  was  from  some  point  on  Lake  Superior  by  way  of  St. 
Paul  to  the  Iowa  line  in  the  direction  of  Dubuque.  As  will  be 
seen,  the  proposed  route  of  the  Minnesota  &  Northwestern  Rail- 
road Company  was  identical  with  that  mentioned  in  the  land 
grant.  After  alterations  and  amendments,  and  charges  of  fraud 
both  in  the  territorial  legislattire  and  in  Congress,  the  land  grant 
act  was  repealed  by  congress.  The  company,  however,  contended 
that  congress  had  no  right  to  appeal  the  act.  The  higher  courts 
also  upheld  the  congressional  repeal.  The  matter  caused  much 
discussion  in  succeeding  sessions  of  the  legislature,  but  in  1855 
the  legislature  passed  an  act  to  amend  the  incorporation  of  the 
Minnesota  &  Northwestern  Railroad  Company  over  the  governor's 
veto.  In  1856  the  time  for  the  building  of  the  road  was  extended, 
and  the  extension  approved  by  the  governor.  The  road  was 
chartered  May  23,  1857,  to  build  a  line  from  the  Iowa  state  line, 
somewhere  west  of  section  thirteen,  via  Austin,  Mankato,  etc., 
to  New  Ulm,  Minn.  In  1858,  in  a  joint  session,  the  legislature 
confirmed  the  territorial  land  grant  of  1854,  congress  in  the  mean- 
time having  made  liberal  provision  for  the  giving  of  land  grants 
to  such  railroads  as  should  build  in  Minnesota.  It  was  as  the 
Minnesota  &  Northwestern  that  the  Chicago  Great  "Western  line 
from  Hayfield  to  Omaha  was  first  laid  in  this  county. 


An  act  Avas  approved  by  the  Minnesota  territorial  legislature 
May  22,  1857,  creating  four  railroad  corporations,  and  granting 
them  alternate  sections,  designated  by  odd  numbers,  six  miles  in 
width  on  each  side  of  the  roads  and  their  branches,  this  being 
in  accord  with  the  liberal  railroad  land  grant  by  congress.  These 
four  railroad  corporations,  viz..  the  Minnesota  &  Pacific  Railroad 
Company  (changed  to  St.  Paul  &  Paeifie  Railroad  Company)  :  the 
Minneapolis  &  Cedar  A^alley  Railroad  Company;  the  Transit  Rail- 
road Company  (changed  to  Winona  &  St.  Peter  Railroad  Com- 
pany) ;  and  the  Root  River  Valley  &  Southern  Minnesota  Railroad 
Company.  The  first  named  was  created  originally  by  this  act. 
The  latter  three  had  already  been  organized.  The  companies 
were  to  pay  three  per  cent  of  their  gross  earnings  in  lieu  of  taxes 
and  assessments,  and  the  lands  granted  by  congress  were  to  be. 
exempt  from  all  taxation  vantil  sold  and  conveyaneed  by  the  com- 
panies.    The  corporations  were  generally  given  ten  years  to  con- 


struct  their  respective  roads.  The  financial  embarrassments  of 
1857 -retarded  the  progress  of  railroad  building;  and  it  also  be- 
came evident  that  the  parties  who  had  obtained  the  railway  char- 
ters mentioned  had  neither  the  money  or  credit  to  complete  these 
great  highways  of  internal  improvements. 

The  territory  of  ]\Iinnesota  was  admitted  to  statehood  May  11, 
1858.  The  constitution  ratified  and  adopted  October  13,  1857, 
provided  in  article  10,  section  2,  that  "no  corporations  shall  be 
formed  under  special  acts  except  for  municipal  purposes";  and 
it  still  further  provided  that  "the  credit  of  the  state  shall  never 
be  given  nor  loaned,  in  the  aid  of  any  individual,  association  or 
corporation. ' '  Notwithstanding  the  strong  feeling  worked  up  over 
the  talk  of  getting  bonds  in  the  aid  of  railroads  so  badly  needed 
in  the  state,  the  first  act  of  the  legislature,  which  was  approved 
March  9,  1858,  before  the  state  was  admitted,  was  to  submit  an 
amendment  to  the  constitution,  providing  for  loaning  the  state's 
credit  to  the  four  land  grant  roads  to  the  extent  of  $1,250,000 
each,  or  $5,000,000  in  all.  provided  $100,000  for  every  ten  miles 
to  be  graded,  and  $100,000  for  every  ten  miles  when  the  cars  were 
running  regularly.  In  return  it  required  the  roads  to  pledge  the 
net  income  to  pay  the  interest  on  the  bonds,  and  to  convey  the 
first  240  sections  of  land  from  the  government  grant  to  the  state, 
and  to  deposit  in  first  mortgage  bonds  an  amount  equal  to  the 
loan  from  the  state  for  security.  This  proposal  occasioned  much 
uneasiness  among  the  most  prudent  of  the  citizens  in  the  state; 
and  though  public  meetings  were  held  denouncing  the  measure, 
it  was,  however,  upon  being  submitted  to  the  people,  on  the  ap- 
pointed day  of  a  special  election,  April  15,  1858.  carried  by  a 
large  ma.jority,  there  being  25,023  in  favor  to  6,733  against  the 
amendment.  The  measure  afterward  became  known  as  the  Five 
Jlilljon  Loan  Bill.  The  state  bonds  were  of  $1,000  denomination, 
had  twenty-five  years  to  run  with  interest  at  seven  per  cent,  the 
railroad  companies  to  pay  the  interest,  and  were  to  be  delivered 
to  the  incorporators  of  the  companies  when  ten  miles  of  the  road 
was  graded  and  ready  for  the  superstructure.  Owing  to  techni- 
calities it  was  extremely  difficult  to  market  these  bonds.  Times 
were  luird  jind  tlie  companies  were  unable  to  pay  the  required 

On  the  ;isseiul)liii<,'  of  llie  le-i-islatun^  in  18(i0  the  inlerest  on 
the  state  ])onds  liaviiig  l)een  defaulted,  an  amendment  to  the  con- 
stitution was  ad<)])ted  and  submitted  to  tlie  people  expunging  the 
section  sanctioned  and  approved  by  them.  April  15.  1858.  reserv- 
ing only  the  state's  rights.  The  electors  of  the  state  at  the  general 
election  of  Novemlx'i-  G,  18(i0.  with  unanimity,  by  a  vote  of  27.023 
1(1  733,  ;i|i])i-(ive(l  of  llie  jiuiendineiit.  For  Iwo  years  tliereafter 
i-aiii'iiad  mnllei's  in  the  slate  laid  dormant. 



The  Minneapolis  &  Cedar  Valley  Railroad  Company  was  cIimi- 
tered  Marcli  1,  1856.  with  a  capital  stock  of  $3,()()0,()00  to  construct 
a  railroad  from  Minneapolis  to  a  point  of  junction  with  the  Root 
River  Valley  &  Southern  Minnesota  Railroad  in  Dakota  county, 
from  one  to  six  miles  from  IMendota,  and  thence  in  a  southerly 
direction  via  Faribault,  through  the  valley  of  the  Straight  river, 
to  the  southern  boundary  line  of  the  territory  at  the  Cedar  river. 
They  were  also  to  have  the  right  to  build  at  any  time  a  line  from 
the  Mendota  Junction  to  St.  Paul;  also  a  like  road  to  Hastings. 
After  the  passage  of  the  amendment  to  the  constitution  in  1858 
a  mortgage  was  executed  and  bonds  issued  and  deposited  with 
the  state,  for  which  the  company  received  .$600,000,  state  bonds. 
The  company  defaulted  in  the  payments.  September  1,  1859,  the 
foreclosure  was  demanded.  The  trustees  advertised  and  sold  the 
property  August  16,  1860,  and  bid  it  in  for  the  state.  The  prop- 
erty, franchise,  etc.,  were  conferred  March  10,  1862,  upon  the 
Minneapolis.  Faribault  &  Cedar  Valley  Railroad  Company.  Quite 
an  amount  of  grading  had  been  done,  but  no  track  liad  been  laid. 

The  Minneapolis,  Faribault  &  Cedar  Valley  Railroad  Company 
was  incorporated  by  the  legislature  of  Minnesota  March  10,  1862. 
Under  this  name  the  state  transferred  to  Alexander  James,  Syl- 
vester Smith,  William  H.  Dike,  Charles  A.  Wheaton,  Franklin 
Steele,  Henry  Chapin,  Thomas  A.  Harrington,  Eli  B.  Ames,  John 
]\r.  Oilman,  William  Gr.  LeDuc  and  Rufus  J.  Baldwin  all  the  prop- 
erty, franchises,  etc.,  of  the  Minneapolis  &  Cedar  Valley  Company 
acquired  by  foreclosure  August  16,  1860,  and  authorized  a  re- 
organization under  the  original  charter.  The  same  rights  had 
been  conferred  upon  Erastus  Corning  and  associates  in  ]\Iarch. 
1861,  and  upon  N.  D.  Barney  et  al.  in  March,  1863,  but  they  failed 
to  comply  with  the  conditions  and  forfeited  them.  By  an  act 
of  the  legislature  which  was  approved  February  1,  1864,  the  name 
was  changed  to  the  Minnesota  Central  Railway  Company. 

The  Minnesota  Central  Railway  Company  was  named  in  ar. 
act  of  the  legislature,  approved  February  1,  1864,  to  take  over  the 
franchise  and  rights  of  the  Minneapolis,  Faribault  &  Cedar  Valley 
Railroad  Company.  Acts  Avere  passed  at  different  times  extend- 
ing the  time  of  completion  of  the  road,  also  an  act  authorizing  the 
connection  with  the  Iowa  road  at  the  state  line.  The  road  was 
completed  from  ^linneapolis  via  ^lendota  to  Owatonna,  a  distancr 
of  seventy-one  miles,  in  1866,  and  the  branch  was  built  from  ]\Ien- 
dota  to  St.  Paul.  September  18,  1866,  tlie  capital  stock  of  tlie 
road  Avas  sold  to  the  ^McGregor  &  Western  Railroad  Company  for 
.$2,000,000,   payable   in    a    like   amount    of   the    latter   company's 


stock.  All  the  property  except  the  land  grant  lands  was  con- 
veyed June  26,  1867.  This  sale  was  practically  a  consolidation. 
The  corporate  existence  of  the  company  was  continued  by  virtue 
of  its  land  stock,  and  no  interest  in  its  lands  ever  passed  to  the 
McGregor  &  Western  Company  or  its  successors.  The  company 
was  required  by  the  land  grant  to  build  from  Austin  to  the  state 
line,  but  had  not  done  so  when  it  was  transferred  to  the  McGregor 
company.  The  ^Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  Railway  Company  (which 
later  on,  February  7,  1874,  became  the  Chicago,  Milwaukee  & 
St.  Paul),  after  acquiring  the  line  of  the  consolidated  company, 
August  5,  1867,  reconveyed  to  the  Minnesota  Central  Company  in 
April,  1868,  that  part  of  the  line  between  Austin  and  Mona,  a  dis- 
tance of  eleven  miles,  to  enable  it  to  earn  the  land  grant. 

As  before  stated,  the  first  regular  passenger  train  reached  Le 
Roy  from  Cresco  September  9,  1867.  This  was  an  important  day 
for  Mower  county,  and  on  that  day,  for  the  first  time,  the  county 
had  connection  by  rail  with  the  Atlantic  seaboard.  In  October, 
1867,  the  line  was  completed  from  Owatonna  to  Austin,  and  for 
a  short  time  the  lines  ending  at  Austin  and  Le  Roy  were  con- 
Qected  by  the  stage  route  of  Nichols  &  Cotter.  Later  in  the  month 
the  line  was  completed  from  Austin  to  Le  Roy.  In  the  same 
month  a  through  freight  car  passed  through  Austin  from  New 
.York  to  Minneapolis,  thus  bridging  by  rail  the  distance  from  the 
Atlantic  ocean  to  the  head  of  Mississippi  navigation. 

Work  was  also  pushed  to  the  southward  from  Austin  to  the 
state  line,  and  trains  started  running  in  January,  1870.  April, 
1870,  the  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  road  took  a  deed  to  the  line  from 
Austin  to  Mona,  paying  1,760  shares  of  common  stock  and  a  like 
amount  of  preferred  stock.  In  January,  1870,  the  Illinois  Central 
started  running  its  trains  from  the  state  line  south  in  Iowa. 

November  3,  1870,  the  portion  of  the  Iowa  Central  from  the 
Minnesota  state  line  to  Mason  City,  now  owned  by  the  Chicago, 
Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul,  was  completed,  and  cars  were  put  in  oper- 
ation. In  December,  1871,  the  Burlington,  Cedar  Rapids  &  i\Iin- 
nesota  Railway  tapped  this  line  at  Plymouth,  in  Cerro  Gordo 
county,  Iowa,  and  leased  a  right  of  way  to  Austin,  thus  practic- 
ally extending  its  line  to  Mower  county.  A  year  later  th6  Central 
Railway  of  Iowa  began  running  trains  from  Austin  to  St.  Louis 
over  the  Burlington,  Cedar  Rapids  and  TMinnesota,  via  the  Iowa 

The  McGregor  and  Western  Railway  Company  was  organized 
January  19,  1863,  and  was  authorized  to  construct  a  road  from  or 
from  near  McGregor,  westward  and  northwestward  in  Iowa. 
Later  the  charter  was  modified,  allowing  the  company  to  con- 
struct a  line  from  the  state  line  to  Austin,  in  ]\Iinnesota.  In  1866 
the  company  purchased  the  I\linnesota  Central  Railway  Company, 


and  gave  in  return  $2,000,000  of  its  bonds.  Tlie  McGregor  com- 
pany was  authorized  March  7,  1867,  by  the  Minnesota  legislature, 
to  construct  a  road  via  Austin,  to  Owatonna,  and  to  exercise  the 
franchise  of  the  IMinnesota  Central  Railway  Company.  Articles 
of  incorporation  Avere  filed  in  Minnesota  June  8,  1867,  and  later 
in  the  month  a  deed  was  taken  of  the  IMinnesota  Central  Com- 
pany, then  built  from  Minneapolis  to  Owatonna.  The  line  was 
immediately  transferred  to  the  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  Company, 
which  February  7,  1874,  became  the  Chicago,  INIilwaukee  &  St. 
Paul.  The  building  of  the  McGregor  line  is  recorded  elsewhere 
in  this  chapter. 

The  Root  River  Valley  &  Southern  Minnesota  Railroad  Avas 
chartered  by  the  territory  of  Minnesota  March  2,  185.3.  The  act 
to  incorporate  was  passed  on  the  above  date  by  the  territorial 
legislature,  and  amended  February  27,  1857.  The  charter  granted 
the  privilege  of  covering  almost  everything  in  the  southern  end  of 
the  state,  provided  the  eastern  terminus  remained  at  Hokah,  viz. : 
"from  the  village  of  Hokah,  in  the  county  of  Houston,  and  terri- 
tory of  Minnesota,  westward  by  the  most  feasible  and  practicable 
route  to  some  point  between  the  south  line  of  the  territory  and 
the  point  where  the  township  line  between  110  and  111  crosses 
the  Minnesota  river,  thence  west  by  the  most  direct  and  practi- 
cable route  to  the  great  bend  of  the  Missouri  river,  with  the  priv- 
ilege of  a  branch  starting  from  Hokah  and  running  to  the  west 
bank  of  the  Mississippi,  via  Target  Lake  to  Eagle  Bluff  in  AVinona 
county.  Also  the  privilege  of  building  a  branch  from  some  point 
on  the  main  line  east  of  range  12,  west  of  the  fifth  principal 
meridian,  and  Avestward  through  the  counties  of  MoAver,  Free- 
born and  Faribault,  to  the  Avest  line  of  the  territory;  also  the 
privilege  of  constructing  a  ship  canal  from  the  main  channel  of 
the  Mississippi  river  to  Target  Lake."  May  22,  1857,  the  terri- 
tory of  the  road  was  extended,  and  all  the  land  grants  applicable 
to  its  route  duly  conferred.  This  was  one  of  the  original  land 
grant  roads  bought  in  by  the  state  of  Minnesota,  Avhich  later  re- 
issued its  charter  and  loaned  the  credit  of  the  state. 

The  Southern  Minnesota  Railroad  Company  Avas  the  name 
taken  by  the  Root  River  Valley  and  Southern  ^ilinnesota  Railroad, 
]May  23,  1857,  the  day  after  the  land  grant  Avas  conferred.  The 
company  executed  a  mortgage,  issued  bonds  and  deposited  them 
Avith  the  state,  receiving  therefor  $575,000  in  state  bonds.  The 
company  defaulted  on  the  payments  April  1,  1860,  and  the  gov- 
ernor advertised  and  sold  the  property  and  conveyed  the  sani'i  to 
the  state.  The  state  conferred  the  property,  etc.,  on  divers  o.jca- 
sions  to  various  parties  during  the  years  1861  and  1863,  but  tliey 
failed  to  comply  Avith  the  conditions.  The  rights  pertaining  to 
the  line  througii  the  southern  tier  of  counties  Avere  conferred  upon 


T.  B.  Stoddard  and  associates  March  4,  1864,  under  the  name  of 
the  Southern  J\Iinnesota  Railroad  Company,  thus  reviving  the  old 
title.  The  company  received  aid  from  various  municipalities.  The 
road  was  completed  to  Rushford  in  1867 ;  to  Lanesboro  in  1868 ; 
from  Ramsey  to  Wells  in  1869 ;  Lanesboro  to  Ramsey  and  from 
Wells  to  W^innebago  in  1870,  making  a  total  of  1671/2  miles.  After 
various  litigation  the  Southern  Minnesota  Railway  Company  was 
organized  under  chapter  50  of  the  laws  of  1876. 

The  Southern  Minnesota  Railway  Company  was  organized 
I\Iareh  8.  1877.  Tlie  Southern  Minnesnfa  Railway  Extension  Com- 
pany was  also  organized.  January  1,  1880,  the  Southern  Minne- 
sota, after  receiving  a  deed  from  the  Extension  company,  deeded 
its  road  from  the  Mississippi  river  to  Sioux  Falls,  and  the  branch 
from  Wells  and  Mankato,  to  the  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  Compauy, 
the  latter  issuing  bonds  and  taking  possession  of  the  road  INIay  1, 

The  year  1887  was  an  eventful  one  for  Austin.  The  C,  M.  & 
St.  Paul  moved  its  shops  here  from  "Wells,  and  also  built  a  '"Y" 
from  Ramsey  so  that  the  trains  on  the  old  Southern  Minnesota 
line  ran  into  Austin,  thus  doing  away  with  the  old  stage  coach 
that  liad  hitherto  done  duty  between  Austin  and  Ramsey.  As  a 
bonus  for  locating  the  shops  here  Austin  gave  $10,000  and  ten 
acres  of  land. 


The  Chicago  Great  Western  Railroad  Company,  operating 
what  is  known  as  the  Corn  Belt  Route,  in  1910  succeeded  the  Chi- 
cago Great  Western  Railway  Company,  which  operated  what  v.-as 
then  known  as  the  Maple  Leaf  Route.  The  latter  company  was 
organized  in  Illinois  January  5,  1892,  to  effect  the  reorganization 
of  tlie  Chicago,  St.  Paul  and  Kansas  City  Railway  Company,  which 
was  an  Iowa  corporation  and  had  absorbed  the  ]\Iiunesota  and 
Northwestern.  The  early  construction  of  the  route  in  ^Minnesota 
was  commenced  in  1884  and  completed  in  the  summer  of  1885, 
when  one  hundred  and  ten  miles  were  built  from  Minneapolis  to 
the  Iowa  state  line,  passing  through  Mower  county,  touching 
points  that  are  now  Waltham,  Mayville,  Austin,  Varco  and  Lyle, 
and  connecting  at  the  latter  place  with  the  Illinois  Central.  The 
station  at  Austin  Avas  opened  July  24,  1885,  with  0.  B.  Johnson  as 
first  agent.  A  grand  excursion  to  St.  Paul  took  place  August  20, 
1885.  In  the  fall  of  the  same  year  a  junction  was  made  with  the 
Iowa  (Central  Railroad  at  Manley  Junction,  Iowa.  In  1887  the  line 
from  Ilaytield  to  Dubiuiue,  Iowa,  passing  through  INIower  county 
and  luiving  stations  at  points  that  ai'c  now  Sargeant.  Renova.  Elk- 
ton  and  Taopi.  was  completed,  as  was  the  line  from  Chicago  to 


South  Freeport,  Illinois.  The  next  year  the  missing  link  between 
Dubuque  and  South  Freeport  was  completed,  thus  completing  the 
line  from  ]Minneapolis  and  St.  Paul  to  Chicago.  On  August  1, 
1887,  the  first  passenger  train  made  the  run  between  Chicago  and 
St.  Paul  in  thirteen  and  one-half  hours.  This  was  the  inaugura- 
tion of  the'  fast  passenger  train  service  in  the  West.  Under  an 
agreement  with  the  Wisconsin,  Minnesota  and  Pacific  Railway- 
Company,  the  Chicago  Great  Western  operates  their  lines  of  271 
miles  from  Mankato  to  Red  Wing  and  another  from  Red  Wing 
to  Osage,  Iowa,  with  branches  from  Winona  to  Simpson  and  from 
Claybank  Junction  to  Claybank.  The  line  from  Red  Wing  to 
Osage  crosses  the  extreme  eastern  portion  of  Mower  county,  pass- 
ing into  Fillmore  county  and  then  curving  back  into  Mower  coun- 
ty. In  this  county  it  has  stations  at  Racine  and  LeRoy.  The  Wis- 
consin, Minnesota  &  Pacific  Raihvay  Company  is  a  reorganization 
of  one  of  the  early  ^Minnesota  companies  and  was  incorporated 
in  Minnesota  in  April,  3894.  This  line  was  started  in  1890,  the 
company  at  that  time  being  the  Winona  &  Southwestern. 


The  Dubuque  &  Sioux  City  Railroad,  which  is  operated  by  the 
Illinois  Central  Railroad  Company  is  a  reorganized  company  hold- 
ing its  franchises  by  charter  granted  by  the  state  of  lovs-a,  with 
the  exception  of  the  Albert  Lea  &  Southern  Railroad  Company,  in- 
corporated September  20,  1899,  under  the  general  laws  of  Minne- 
sota. This  road,  which  extended  from  the  Iowa  state  line  to 
Gleuville  Junction,  thus  crossing  IMower  county  from  Lyle  west- 
ward, was  consolidated  with  the  Dubuque  &  Sioux  City  Railroad 
Company,  July  1,  1902. 

Aside  from  the  roads  mentioned  scores  more  have  at  various 
times  been  projected,  in  which  Austin  people  have  been  inter- 
ested. But  they  have  not  yet  reached  IMower  county,  though  even 
to  the  present  day  there  is  talk  of  another  road  being  put  through. 




Importance  of  the  Farming  Interests  of  Mower  County — Char- 
acter of  the  Men  Who  First  Came  Here — Failure  of  Wheat 
Crop — Development  of  Diversified  Farming — Advantages — 
Mail  and  Trading  Facilities — Nature  of  the  Soil — Sheep  and 
Poultry  Breeding — The  Pork  Industry — Registered  Stock 
Predominant— Homes  of  the  Farmers — Agricultural  Societies 
—Grange  Movement — Storm  and  Flood — Insurance  Companies. 

Mower  county  is  acknowlodg't'd  as  being  among  the  best  and 
most  prosperous  agricultural  and  stock  raising  counties  in  Minne- 
sota. Its  people  are  wide  awake  and  keep  step  with  the  pro- 
gressive march  of  the  times  in  all  that  pertains  to  a  civilization  of 
happiness,  industry  and  culture.  Like  all  this  portion  of  the 
Northwest,  the  agricultural  history  of  Mower  county  must  record 
some  disastrous  failures.  The  whole  southern  and  soutliAvestern 
portions  of  Minnesota,  as  well  as  the  greater  part  of  Iowa,  have 
had  serious  disadvantages  to  contend  with  and  obstacles  to  en- 
counter. The  first  settlers  of  the  county  were  mostly  farmers, 
and  they  were,  with  but  few  exceptions,  poor  men,  as  is  the  case 
in  the  history  of  every  agricultural  region.  In  fact,  few  had  more 
than  enough  to  barely  get  settled  upon  their  lands ;  but  they 
came  with  that  which  was  in  those  days  equal  to  it — training  in 
agricultural  pursuits,  brawny  hands  that  Avere  able  and  not 
ashamed  to  work,  and,  in  connection  with  industrious  habits,  the 
energy  and  determination  to  win  success.  The  country  Avas  new, 
and  there  was  no  alternative  but  that  success  must  be  wrought 
from  the  soil,  which  was  their  only  wealth  and  their  only  hope. 
And,  in  spite  of  all  the  obstacles  and  inconveniences,  notwith- 
standing the  fact  that  the  whole  aim  of  the  farming  community 
has  changed,  success  has  attended  their  efforts.  Nor  is  the  end 
yet  reached,  but  the  county  has  a  mine  of  wealth  yet  undeveloped, 
which,  as  years  roll  on,  will  grow  more  and  more  valuable  as  the 
agricultural  population  become  more  and  more  able  to  utilize  it. 

Early  in  the  development  of  this  country  wheat  Avas  the  main 
product,  and  for  a  juunber  of  years  excellent  crops  were  raised 
with  scarcely  a  failure.  At  the  present  time  wheat  has  given  up 
its  former  place  to  other  cereals,  and  farmers  find  many  other 
avenues  in  which-  to  devote  their  time  and  energy. 

Mower  cotuiIv  is  in  tlic  most  southern  tier  of  the  counties  of 
Minnesota.     Its  soiillicni  boundary  forms  a  portion  of  the  state 


line  between  the  great  wheat  state  of  Minnesota  and  the  great 
corn  state  of  Iowa.  It  lies  in  the  grain  belt  and  also  in  the  corn 
belt.    It  is  also  the  center  of  the  great  dairy  belt. 

Mower  county  occupies  with  but  few  exceptions,  all  of  which 
are  in  northern  Minnesota,  the  highest  land  in  the  Mississippi 
valley.  The  mean  elevation  above  the  sea  is  1,300  feet,  the  highest 
point  being  in  the  central  and  southern  portion  where  the  eleva- 
tion rises  to  1,360  feet.  The  lowest  elevation  of  the  county  is 
1,119  feet,  which  is  600  feet  higher  than  the  Union  station  at  St. 
Paul.  Owing  to  the  gradual  rise  toward  the  center,  Mower  county 
has  perfect  drainage,  it  being  one  of  the  few  counties  of  the  state 
without  a  lake  or  large  pond.  Numerous  small  streams  flow 
through  the  county,  which  is  blessed  with  an  abimdance  of  good 
Avater.  Beside  the  creeks  and  rivulets,  there  are  innumerable  flow- 
ing springs,  gushing  from  the  earth,  many  flowing  300,000  gallons 
a  day  and  some  to  exceed  a  million  gallons  in  twenty-four  hours. 

The  high  altitude  gives  to  Mower  county  an  ideal  climate.  Its 
mean  temperatiire  for  summer  is  70  degrees,  the  same  as  middle 
Illinois,  Ohio  and  southern  Pennsylvania.  The  extreme  heat  that 
is  felt  in  these  states  is  here  tempered  by  the  breezes  of  the  ele- 
vated plateau.  Its  higher  latitude  gives  two  hours  more  of  sun- 
shine than  at  Cincinnati.  This  with  an  abundance  of  rainfall, 
26.36  inches  annually,  on  a  rich  soil,  accounts  for  the  rapid  and 
vigorous  growth  of  crops  and  their  early  maturity.  There  is  a 
uniformity  of  temperature  during  the  winter  season  in  southern 
Minnesota,  with  bright  sunshine,  dry  atmosphere,  good  sleighing 
and  infrequent  thaws  that  make  life  a  pleasure  in  this  bracing, 
healthy  climate. 

The  soil  is  for  the  most  part  a  deep,  rich,  warm  loam  with  clay 
subsoil.  There  is  but  little  gumbo  soil  in  this  county.  Cultivation 
is  easy  and  "irrigation  and  dry  farming"  that  one  hears  so  much 
about  to-day,  and  which  is  so  necessary  to  secure  a  crop  on  much 
of  the  new  lands  that  are  being  opened  up  in  the  West,  at  so  great 
an  expense,  are  not  needed  here.  During  the  past  few  years  a 
number  of  farms  have  been  tiled  and  with  such  marked  success 
that  within  a  few  years  most  of  the  farms  will  be  improved  in 
this  respect.  The  lay  of  the  land  is  such  that  almost  every  farmer 
gets  good  drainage  without  difficulty.  Two  large  factories,  one 
manufacturing  a  cement  tile  and  the  other  a  clay  tile,  are  located 
at  Austin  and  have  a  tremendous  total  output. 

Mower  county  ha.s  good  roads  and  in  several  road  districts  its 
roads  are  as  fine  as  a  city's  street,  thanks  to  the  efficient  work 
of  townships  good  road  organizations  and  to  the  use  of  the  King 
split-log  drag. 

Mower  county  Avas  the  first  county  in  the  United  States  to 
have  a  coiiiiilcte  i-ni-al  mail  route  system  installed.     Tliis  was  done 


in  1904,  and  there  is  hardly  a  farm  in  the  county  that  is  above 
half  a  mile  from  a  rural  route.  The  entire  population,  aside  from 
the  county  seat  and  the  villages  with  postofifices,  is  served  by  this 
excellent  system.  Each  route  serA^es  llO^families  or  an  average 
of  600  people,  and  each  route  has  an  average  length  of  twenty- 
seven  miles.  Mower  county's  rural  routes  center  as  follows:  Aus- 
tin, BroAvnsdale,  Dexter,  Grand  Meadow,  Taopi,  Rose  Creek, 
Adams,  Le  Roy,  Lyle,  Racine,  Elkton.  Waltham,  Sargeant. 

Mower  county's  farms  are  all  within  easy  access  of  a  market, 
there  not  being  a  farm  above  seven  miles  from  a  village  and  not 
above  a  score  are  a  greater  distance  from  a  village  than  six  miles. 

]\Iower  county  is  a  great  corn  country,  raising  over  a  million 
and  a  half  bushels  yearly.  Mower  county  is  one  of  the  big  barley 
counties  of  the  country,  raising  a  million  bushels  yearly.  Mower 
county's  oat  crop  exceeds  4,000,000  bushels  yearly.  Mower 
county's  other  big  crops  are  wheat.  200,000  bushels,  and  potatoes, 
400,000  bushels.  Mower  county  also  raises  the  finest  of  hay  on  its 
73,753  acres  of  meadow.  Mower  county  is  annually  sliipping  thou- 
sands of  dollars'  worth  of  apples  from  its  100,000  apple  trees. 
Mower  county's  phmis,  picked  from  20,000  trees,  are  of  excellent 
({uality  and  find  a  ready  market.  Mower  county  has  two  large 
nurseries,  selling  home-grown  fruit,  ornamental  and  shade  trees, 
guaranteed  to  be  true  to  name  and  to  grow.  Mower  county  has 
two  farmers'  mutual  insurance  companies,  the  Mower  County 
Farmers'  Mutual  Fire  and  Lightning  Company,  carrying  $5,250.- 
000  of  insurance,  and  the  Austin  Mutual  Hail  Insurance  Company 
of  Minnesota,  insuring  crops  from  loss  by  hail  all  over  the  state. 
Mower  county  has  a  splendid  system  of  bridge  building,  a  ma- 
jority of  the  bridges  being  of  iron  and  concrete.  It  is  the  policy 
of  the  county  board  to  replace  old  bridges  with  those  of  iron  and 
concrete.  Mower  county's  all-grain  farmers  have  been  moving  to 
the  unbroken  prairies,  leaving  their  farms  here  to  be  taken  by 
progressive  diversified  farmers  of  the  older  states.  Mower  county 
is  one  of  the  great  thoroughbred  cattle  counties  of  the  state. 
]\Iower  county  farmers  find  a  ready  market  for  their  hogs  with 
the  Hormel  Packing  Company,  located  at  Austin,  which  has  a 
daily  capacity  of  turning  5,000  milk-fed  hogs  into  the  famous 
Dairy  Brand  hams  and  bacon.  iMower  county  farmers  find  a  ready 
market  for  garden  truck  in  the  city  of  Austin  and  the  villages 
of  the  county. 

The  farms  of  Mower  county  are  similar  to  the  farms  of  any 
other  county  having  a  rich  soil.  It  has  its  good  farms  and  its 
poor  farms.  Or  better  stated,  it  has  its  good  farmers  and  its 
poor  farmers.  Agriculture,  like  every  other  trade  or  profession, 
his  its  successes  and  its  failures,  but  perhaps  not  as  many  com- 
plete failures. 


The  first  settlers  found  here  a  rich,  unbroken  virgin  soil,  a 
land  that  had  had  none  but  nature's  care  from  time  immemorial. 
Century  after  century,  year  after  year,  the  grasses  grew  in  all 
their  richness  and  the  prairie  tiowers  bloomed  to  waste  their  fra- 
grance on  the  summer  air.  No  foot  trod  the  unbroken  stretches 
save  that  of  wild  beast  or  bird,  or  the  red  warrior.  No  plow- 
share turned  the  green  sod,  nor  was  it  torn  by  the  iron  tooth  of 
the  harrow,  from  the  time  an  almighty  power  had  unrolled  it  like 
a  carpet  until  1852,  when  Jacob  McQuillan  and  party  drove  to 
this  land  from  Ohio  in  wagons  and  nailed  their  coffee  mill  to  a 
tree  in  what  is  now  Racine  township.  They  turned  the  first  sod 
and  sowed  "wheat,"  and  wheat  was  the  crop  that  the  land  of 
Mower  county  raised  in  abundance  until  1878.  Then  came  the 
wheat  failure.  For  over  a  quarter  of  a  century  the  land  had  let 
man  take  crop  after  crop  of  the  finest  cereal  from  her  without 
putting  anything  back,  and  then  it  protested.  Then  the  farmers 
tried  the  next  year  and  the  next  and  hardly  got  their  seed  back. 
Then  those  who  could  afford  it  went  further  north  and  west 
where  there  were  other  virgin  lands.  But  some  were  too  poor 
to  go.  Some  of  these  turned  their  attention  to  other  crops  and  a 
few  to  stock  raising.  But  as  late  as  1884  Mower  county  had  but 
four  creameries.  In  that  year  came  the  discussion  of  diversified 
farming  for  ]\Iower  county,  but  for  several  years  but  little  was 
done  along  that  line.  Within  the  last  few  years  the  dairy  farmer 
has  come  upon  the  scene.  Some  came  from  other  states  and  have 
thriven  and  grown  prosperous  on  the  land  which  the  wheat 
farmer  thought  was  exhausted.  The  county  has  grown  prosper- 
ous with  this  change  of  farming  and  during  the  last  few  years 
hundreds  of  up-to-date  farmers  from  Illinois,  Indiana,  Iowa  and 
Wisconsin  have  taken  up  their  abode  on  Mower  county  farms. 
Here  they  find  a  rich  soil  from  two  to  five  feet  deep,  ready  for 
them,  a  land  covered  with  rich  grasses  and  ready  to  yield  abun- 
dance in  oats,  barley  and  other  small  grains,  and  producing  corn 
that  vies  with  that  of  the  states  above  mentioned.  Here  they 
find  land  as  rich  and  yielding  as  heavy  crops  as  the  $150  land 
they  had  left  and  selling  at  from  $50  to  $80  an  acre,  because  the 
owners  were  ready  to  retire  or  desired  to  go  to  the  land  of  a 
single  crop,  wheat.  With  their  coming  there  is  a  great  increase 
in  tlie  valuation  of  farm  property,  farm  products  and  live  stock. 

With  the  coming  of  these  farmers  from  the  older  states  has 
come  farm  tiling — open  ditches  have  been  used  for  years  but 
hardly  a  rod  of  tile  was  laid  by  the  all-grain  farmers.  Now  there 
are  thousands  of  rods  being  laid  each  year. 

There  is  at  present  a  strong  movement  toward  sugar  beet  (  ul- 
ture.  It  has  been  found  that  the  warm,  deep  loam  of  Slower 
county  permits  of  large  development  of  root.     Two  large  sugar 


beet  factories,  one  at  Waterloo,  Iowa,  and  the  otlier  at  Chaska. 
Minnesota,  take  all  the  crop  raised. 

AYhile  Mower  county  is  not  a  sheep  raising  county,  it  is  the 
breeding  place  of  thoroughbreds  which  are  in  demand  in  Mon- 
tana, Wyoming  and  Idaho,  to  which  places  many  find  their  way. 
Following  are  the  leading  breeds  in  Mower  county:  Merinos, 
Cotswold,  Shropshire,  Soutlulowns,  Lincoln,  Oxfords,  Hampshires 
and  Horned  Dorsets. 

The  poultry  fanciers  are  the  most  numerous  of  all  the  thor- 
oughbred raisers.  Space  forbids  mention  of  all  the  varieties  of 
poultry  that  are  to  be  found  in  this  county.  At  a  recent  county 
fair  123  A'arieties  Avere  shown,  of  which  99  were  of  the  hen,  six 
of  the  turkey,  eleven  of  the  duck  and  seven  of  the  geese  family. 
Alfred  Ziemer,  of  this  city,  has  a  Buft'  Orpington  cock  valued  at 
$1,000,  the  highest  priced  bird  of  the  breed  in  the  United  States. 
The  Mower  County  Poultry  Association  is  the  largest  organiza- 
tion of  its  kind  in  the  state,  and  its  annual  show  is  larger  than 
any  other  except  those  held  at  St.^Paul  and  Minneapolis.  Slower 
county  birds  in  the  last  shows  in  the  Twin  Cities  took  more  prizes 
than  any  other  county  in  the  state. 

There  is  one  farmer  in  the  county  who  claims  that  every  do- 
mestic animal  on  his  place,  from  the  driving  horse  to  the  family 
cat,  is  thoroughbred  and  registered. 

I\IoA\er  county  has  no  state  highways  of  macadam.  Tlie  roads, 
which  are  made  of  the  soil  of  the  county,  on  the  whole  are  good, 
and  some  of  them  are  kept  in  the  best  of  condition.  This  county 
was  one  of  the  first  in  the  state  to  undertake  road  building,  and 
it  is  interesting  to  note  that  the  first  bill  ordered  paid  by  the 
first  board  of  couny  commissioners  Avas  a  bill  presented  Jul\  7. 
1856,  by  Louis  Patchin,  for  work  as  road  commissioner. 

There  was  a  time  iu  ]\lower  county  when  like  all  new  lands, 
the  first  consideration  Avas  to  build  good  barns  for  tlie  housing  of 
the  liocks  and  lierds  and  the  home  Avas  the  most  inconspicuous 
object  in  the  landscape.  As  the  farmers  prospered  the  log  house 
disappeared  and  now  there  are  not  a  half  dozen  log  hoiises  in 
th>'  entire  county.  Now  the  farmers'  house  vies  Avith  the  city 
residence  and  has  many  of  tlie  modern  conveniences.  AVhere  elec- 
tric light  and  poAver  cannot  be  secured,  gasoline  engines  furnish 
power  and  a  number  of  farm  houses  are  lighted  by  their  OAvn  gas 
plants.  By  the  use  of  elevated  tanks  in  the  house  or  barn,  or 
pneiunatic  tanks  in  cellars,  farm  houses  often  have  all  the  sani- 
tary conveniences  of  a  house  in  tOAvn.  Our  farmers  recognize 
the  value  of  keeping  their  ])roperty  in  the  best  of  shape.  Houses 
and  l)arns  are  Avell  painted.  laAvns  are  carefully  kept  and  fioAver 
gardens  sliow  iliat  our  jx'ople  recognize  that  the  things  Avhich 
beautify  add  a  value  to  life  as  well  as  to  property. 



Mower  County  Agricultural,  Horticultural  and  Mechanics' 
Society.  On  the  third  of  September,  ]86;i,  the  l)oard  of  eounty 
commissioners,  consisting  of  R.  C.  Heath,  Alanson  Beach  and  G. 
T.  Angell  published  a  call  for  the  organizing  of  a  society  of  the 
farmers  of  the  eounty.  Agreeable  to  this  notice  a  number  of 
prominent  citizens  of  the  county  met  at  the  postoffice  in  Austin 
September  22,  1863.  The  meeting  was  called  to  order  by  B.  F. 
Jones,  upon  whose  motion  J.  P.  Jones,  of  Nevada  township,  was 
elected  chairman.  B.  F.  Jones  was  elected  secretary.  After  some 
discussion  Ormanzo  Allen,  Olivar  Somers  and  Sylvester  Smith 
were  appointed  a  committee  to  draft  a  constitution  for  the  gov- 
ernment of  the  soeiet}^ 

The  following  gentlemen  were  elected  first  officers  of  the  so- 
ciety :  President,  Hon.  Robert  Lyle ;  vice-presidents,  John  M. 
Morrell,  Geo.  N.  Conkey  and  John  M.  Wyckoff  from  the  first, 
second  and  third  districts  respectively;  recording  secretary,  B. 
F.  Jones ;  corresponding  secretary,  Solomon  Snow ;  directors — 
Austin,  V.  P.  Lewis;  Lyle,  S.  R.  Hughson;  Windom,  Alonzo  Fair- 
banks; Red  Rock,  A.  D.  Brown;  Udolpho,  Charles  Stimson;  Ne- 
vada, J.  P.  Jones;  Lansing,  J.  J.  Rosenberg;  Pleasant  Valley, 
Robert  Reed;  Grand  MeadoAV,  Col.  B.  F.  Langworthy;  Racine, 
Addison  Harris;  Frankford,  N.  Goodsell;  Bennington,  Edwin 
Angell;  Adams,  Mathew  Rooney:  LeRoy,  Daniel  Caswell.  This 
society  held  its  first  fair  at  the  village  of  Lansing  during  the  sec- 
ond week  of  October,  1864.    It  Avas  an  acknowledged  success.. 

Mower  County  Agricultural  Society.  During  the  year  1868 
the  project  of  organizing  a  second  agricultural  society  was  agi- 
tated. On  July  31,  1868,  a  number  of  prominent  citizens  met  at 
the  brick  school  house  in  Austin.  J.  L.  Davidson  was  chosen 
chairman,  and  Lyman  A.  Sherwood,  secretary  of  the  meeting. 
A  committee  was  appointed,  consisting  of  C.  H.  Davidson.  Capt. 
A.  S.  Everest,  G.  G.  Clemmer  and  Thomas  Gibson,  to  draft  a  con- 
stitution and  by-laws. 

Tlie  following  were  the  first  officers  elected:  President,  An- 
drew D.  Brown ;  secretary,  E.  C.  Door ;  treasurer,  S.  Snow ;  vice- 
presidents,  Sylvester  Smith,  Austin  City;  Abe  S.  Lott,  Austin 
township ;  Alanson  Beach,  Lyle ;  Guitder  Halverson,  Nevada ; 
^latthew  Rooney,  Adams ;  W.  B.  Spencer,  LeRoy ;  G.  T.  Angell, 
Bennington ;  D.  P.  Putney,  Frankford ;  ^V.  E.  Harris.  Racine  -.  B. 
F.  Langworthy,  Grand  Meadow ;  Richard  Iloppin,  Pleasant  Val- 
ley: James  H.  Stewart,  Red  Rock;  A.  B.  Vaughan.  Lansing; 
Thomas  Richardson,  Udolpho ;  A.  P.  Lounsberry,  AValtham ;  John 
Tiiompson.  AVindom.  Executive  committee — V.  P.  Lewis,  chair- 
man: AV.  L.  Austin,  Austin;  Thomas  Gibson,  Lansing;  Orlando 


Wilder,  Lyle :  Alanson  Wright,  Windom ;  J.  J\I.  Wyckoff,  LeRoy ; 
Harvey  Anderson,  Red  Rock ;  D.  Chandler,  Austin ;  J.  W.  Gregg, 
Nevada;  H.  M.  Irgens,  Adams;  Capt.  J.  S.  McKnight,  Benning- 
ton; Chas.  Lamb,  Frankford;  Jonathan  Stewart,  Racine;  0.  W. 
Case,  Grand  Meadow;  Ben.  Carll,  Udolpho;  H.  Edward,  Wal- 

This  society  held  its  first  fair  on  October  14  and  15,  1S68. 

The  present  society  was  organized  at  the  meeting  of  the 
Grange  council,  held  October  1,  1874,  when  it  was  found  that  the 
farming  class  was  anxious  to  organize  an  agricultm-al  society, 
such  as  existed  in  many  other  counties.  After  the  usual  pre- 
liminaries, the  farmers  proceeded  to  organize  a  society  by  elect- 
ing officers  both  from  within  and  without  the  Grange.  The  society 
was  to  be  called  the  Mower  County  Agricultural  Society,  and  its 
object  was  the  promotion  of  agriculture,  horticulture  and  the 
mechanical  arts.  G.  W.  Grimshaw  was  elected  president ;  C.  J. 
Felch,  vice  president;  Miles  M.  Trowbridge,  secretary;  H.  F. 
Deming,  treasurer.  The  executive  committee  consisted  of  nine 
members:  S.  Y.  Paddock,  M.  C.  Potter,  Merril  Mason,  N.  H. 
Thompson,  William  Rutherford,  H.  Knudson,  E.  I.  Stimson,  J.  F. 
Cook  and  W.  L.  Austin.  The  society  was  incorporated  March  31, 
1875.  The  annual  county  fair  is  now  held  at  Austin,  and  the  live 
stock  exhibit  at  the  fairs  exceeds  that  of  any  county  fair  in  the 

The  Mower  County  Poultry  Association  is  one  of  the  strong- 
est organizations  of  this  nature  iu  the  state,  and  there  is  nut  a 
more  enthusiastic  class  of  breeders  tJiau  the  men  who  form  this 
association.  The  association  holds  an  annual  poultry  show  which 
is  largely  attended.  A.  W.  Edson  is  president  of  tlie  association 
and  Alf.  A.  Ziemer  is  secretary. 


In  1877  Mower  county  farmers  reaped  the  last  of  the  liig 
wheat  crops,  which  for  twenty  years  had  made  this  the  land  of 
Eldorado  of  the  settler  from  the  East.  The  history  of  this  county 
from  the  year  of  the  wheat  failure  in  1878  to  the  present  time  is 
of  unusual  interest.  To  give  the  reader  an  idea  of  the  time  of 
the  failure,  we  quote  the  diary  of  one  of  the  early  settlers.  ' '  Au- 
gust 19,  1877.  To-day  I  threshed  forty  acres  of  wheat,  got  1,156 
bushels,  which  went  sixty-two  pounds  to  the  bushel."  August  26, 
1878.  It  has  rained  almost  every  day,  mud  everywhere;  have 
tried  to  cradle  a  little  wheat  for  seed,  and  have  saved  but  little. 
Am  very  blue." 

"Am  very  liliic"  is  tli(>  e]iitoine  of  the  history  of  almost  every 
farmer  of  that  section,  for  not  only  1878  but  for  the  next  five 


years.  During  these  years  the  farmers  tried  time  and  time  again 
to  raise  wheat  as  they  had  for  a  quarter  of  a  century  previous, 
and  each  year  saw  the  debt  against  the  farmer  growing  larger 
and  larger.  Many  who  could  do  so  left  the  county  and  went  west 
to  the  Dakotas.  But  from  the  year  of  the  big  wheat  failure  dates 
the  real  growth  of  the  county.  In  the  failure  of  the  wheat  the 
farmer  was  driven  to  adopt  other  methods  of  agriculture,  and 
diversified  farming  took  the  place  of  the  one-crop  system.  The 
adoption  of  the  new  plan  was  necessarily  slow.  To  the  farmer 
who  had  in  1876  purchased  160  acres  and  paid  for  it  with  his 
wheat  crop  in  1877  diversified  farming  seemed  a  long  and  hard 
road  to  the  material  prosperity  of  the  individual.  But  there  were 
men  who  in  their  younger  days  were  raised  in  this  school  and 
who  were  quick  to  see  what  could  be  done  with  the  rich  early- 
worked  soil,  and  they  became  the  pioneers  of  the  movement.  To- 
day they  are  the  rich  and  prosperous  farmers  of  the  county. 
Thirty  years  ago  the  county  from  boundary  to  boundary  line  was 
one  great  sea  of  golden  wheat.  To-day  its  surface  is  like  a  great 
mosaic  of  corn,  barley,  oats,  clover,  timothy,  and  pasture  bh;e 
grass.  Herds  of  pure-bred  Shorthorn,  Holstein,  Jersey,  Gallo- 
ways, Aberdeen- Angus,  Hereford,  Red  Polled,  Guernseys,  and  Ayr- 
shires  may  be  found  in  all  parts  of  our  county,  and  thousands  of 
pure-bred  sheep  of  Merino,  Cotswold,  Shi'opshire,  Southdown,  Lin- 
coln, Oxford,  Hampshire,  and  Horned  Dorset  breeds  may  be  found 
there.  The  following  breeds  of  horses  are  raised  in  the  county: 
Norman,  Persian,  Clydesdale,  French  draft  and  English  shires, 
besides  a  high  grade  of  coach,  draft  and  trotting  horses.  Hog 
raising  is  a  feature  of  every  farm,  and  the  following  breeds  are 
found :  Berkshire,  Poland-China,  Chester  White,  Duroc-Jersey, 
Sutfolk,  improved  Yorkshires,  and  small  Yorkshires.  At  the 
annual  fairs  of  the  Mower  County  Agricultural  Society  all  the 
above  breeds  are  shown  in  registered  animals.  The  livestock 
exhibit  is  one  of  the  greatest  attractions  of  the  fair,  and  is  yearly 
growing  larger.  It  is  not  the  intention  of  the  writer  to  mention 
the  individual  efforts  that  have  brought  about  the  present  pros- 
perity and  demonstrated  the  value  of  diversified  farming.  Their 
work  speaks  for  itself.  But  we  are  glad  to  say  that  many  of 
those  pioneers  of  diversified  farming  in  Minnesota  yet  live  to 
see  their  plans  come  to  fruition  and  to  see  those  who  laughed  at 
them  when  they  entered  upon  the  breeding  and  raising  of  regis- 
tered stock  here  adopt  a  similar  method  in  order  to  keep  up  with 
the  progress  of  the  age.  But  the  farmer  of  thirty  years  ago  did 
not  realize  these  advantages,  and  if  he  did,  the  single  crop  method 
was  the  most  advantageous  up  to  the  year  1878.  Mower  county, 
lying  on  the  boundary  line  of  Iowa,  lies  witliin  the  corn  belt  aiul 
at  the  same  time  is  within  tin'  small   ^-I'aiii  belt.     Coi'n  of  as  iine 


a  growth  as  that  of  Iowa  is  raised  in  great  quantities  to  fatten 
the  droves  of  hogs  to  be  found  on  every  farm.  At  Austin,  the 
county  seat,  is  a  packing  house  with  a  capacity  of  2,000  a  day, 
where  the  highest  market  price  is  paid,  and  which  is  within  easy 
reach  of  the  farmer  with  hogs  to  sell.  Oats  and  barley  are  the 
other  big  crops  raised  in  the  county,  and  there  are  fourteen 
trading  points  besides  the  city  of  Austin  at  which  the  farmer 
can  dispose  of  his  produce.  Reaching  from  Austin  are  two  tele- 
phone systems  that  ramify  every  corner  of  the  county  and  reach 
over  1,100  farm  houses,  besides  the  950  homes  within  the  city. 
Mower  county  Avas  the  first  county  of  Minnesota  to  have  in- 
stalled a  complete  rural  mail  route.  Three  lines  of  the  Chicago, 
Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul,  three  lines  of  the  Chicago  Great  Western, 
and  one  of  the  Illinois  Central  traverse  the  county  so  that  bi;t 
little  land  lies  as  far  as  ten  miles  from  railroad  facilities.  These 
are  the  changes  of  a  quarter  of  a  century  of  diversified  farming 
not  fully  perfected.  But  Mower  county  is  yet  to  be  known  along 
another  line — that  of  apple  raising.  It  has  been  sufficiently 
proven  that  apples  can  be  raised  on  her  soil.  For  instance,  F.  W. 
Kimball,  of  Austin,  in  1907  shipped  his  apples  to  Illinois  and 
netted  from  his  two  and  a  half  acres  of  orchard  over  $700,  after 
paying  $148  for  barrels,  besides  the  expense  of  picking  and  pack- 
ing. Within  the  past  few  years  more  and  more  apple  trees  have 
been  planted  by  the  farmers  of  the  county,  and  this  industry  will 
count  among  the  valuable  assets  when  some  future  writer  twenty- 
five  years  hence  shall  speak  of  the  remarkable  prosperity  and 
growth  of  one  of  the  richest  and  most  representative  agricultural 
counties  of  the  Northwest. 

(By  C.  L.  Rice.) 

Tlie  Grange  movement  in  Mower  county  has  been  an  important 
one,  and  although  but  two  of  the  original  societies  remain  within 
the  county  at  the  present  time,  the  movement  accomplished  its 
purpose  in  the  bettering  of  farm  conditions  and  the  dignifying  of 
the  agricultural  interests  of  the  county.  In  1873  and  1875  the 
Grangers  elected  E.  II.  Wells,  of  Lansing,  to  the  Minnesota  senate, 
on  a  Farmers'  Alliance  ticket,  and  in  several  campaigns  took  an 
active  part  in  the  Anti-Monopolist  movement  in  politics.  In  addi- 
tion to  this  the  prices  paid  by  farmers  for  commodities  were  low- 
ered by  the  establishment  of  Grange  stores  at  various  places,  and 
in  fact  it  may  trutlifully  be  said  that  the  Grange  in  this  county 
Avas  the  forerunner  of  the  general  idea  of  farmers'  co-operation 
which  has  resulted  in  creameries  and  stores  on  the  community 


plan.  It  also  fathered  the  Mower  County  Agricultural  Society, 
which  has  held  successful  fairs  at  Austin  for  so  many  years. 

On  March  18,  1873,  and  in  the  few  months  following,  nineteen 
granges  were  started  in  this  county.  They  were :  Hope  Grange, 
Andrew  Peters,  master ;  Pleasant  View  Grange,  George  Elliot ; 
Brownsdale  Grange,  H.  E.  Tanner;  Rose  Creek  Grange,  D.  S.  B. 
Mollison ;  Lyle  Grange,  R.  B.  Foster ;  Union  Grange,  D.  Austin ; 
Enterprise  Grange,  No.  181,  J.  C.  Hawkins;  Frankford  Grange, 
G.  Tryer ;  Prairie  Grange,  B.  F.  Langworthy ;  Cedar  River  Grange, 
M.  Teeter;  Nevada  Grange,  G.  Halverson;  Hamilton  Grange, 
E.  W.  Elder;  Cedar  Valley  Grange,  W.  J.  Merrick;  Riverdale 
Grange,  M.  M.  Trowbridge ;  Woodlawn  Grange,  A.  K.  Vander- 
walker ;  Lansing  Grange,  L.  Hawley ;  Nevada  Union  Grange,  Sher- 
man Clow.  These  Granges  were  very  progressive  and  did  a  great 
deal  of  good  for  the  interests  of  agriculture,  horticulture  and 
animal  industry.  Many  advantages  were  also  received  in  a  social 
way,  as  the  farming  people  became  better  acquainted  with  each 

June  30,  1873,  a  County  Grange  was  organized  at  the  Baptist 
church  in  Brownsdale.  This  was  designated  the  Mower  County 
Council.  The  meeting  was  called  to  order  by  F.  A.  Elder,  the 
deputy.  B.  F.  Langworthy  was  elected  chairman  and  George  C. 
Weed  secretary  of  the  temporary  organization.  Twelve  Granges 
were  represented,  seventy-five  delegates  being  present.  The  fol- 
lowing officers  of  the  council  were  elected  to  serve  for  one  year: 
Master,  J.  S.  Bowers ;  overseer,  L.  E.  Pearco ;  secretary,  George 

C.  "Weed ;  chaplain,  George'  Elliot ;  steward,  De  Los  Tanner ;  lec- 
turer, F.  A.  Elder ;  assistant  steward,  S.  R.  Pearco ;  gate  keeper, 

D.  D.  Pratt ;  treasurer,  G.  AV.  Grimshaw ;  Ceres,  Mrs.  B.  F.  Lang- 
worthy ;  Flora,  Mrs.  Bettie  Peters ;  Pomona,  Mrs.  L.  E.  Pearco ; 
lady  assistant  steward,  Mrs.  A.  J.  Hunt. 

At  the  meeting  of  the  council  held  October  1,  1874,  it  was 
found  that  the  farming  class  was  anxious  to  organize  an  agricul- 
tural society,  such  as  existed  in  many  other  counties.  After  the 
usual  preliminaries,  the  farmers  proceeded  to  organize  a  society 
by  electing  officers  both  from  within  and  without  the  Grange. 
The  society  was  to  be  called  the  Mower  County  Agricultural  So- 
ciety and  its  object  was  the  promotion  of  agriculture,  horticul- 
ture and  the  mechanical  arts.  G.  AV.  Grimshaw  was  elected  presi- 
dent ;  C.  J.  Felch,  vice  president ;  Allies  AI.  Trowbridge,  secretary ; 
H.  F.  Deming,  treasurer.  The  executive  committee  consisted  of 
nine  members :  S.  Y.  Paddock,  Ar.  C.  Potter,  Alerril  Alason,  N.  H. 
Thompson,  AVilliam  Rutherford,  H.  Knndson,  E.  J.  Stimson,  J.  F. 
Cook  and  AV.  L.  Austin. 

The  Agricultural  Society  continued  to  live,  l)ut  after  a  while 
the  interest  in  the  Grange  movement  died  out.    On  April  2,  1910, 


after  many  years  of  inactivity,  Enterprise  Grange,  No.  181,  was 
reorganized  as  No.  604  by  C.  B.  Hoyt  at  the  Enterprise  school- 
house.  The  following  officers  were  elected :  Master,  C.  L.  Rice : 
overseer,  C.  B.  Sayles ;  lecturer,  Mrs.  C.  B.  Sayles ;  steward,  E.  V. 
Hart ;  assistant  steward,  Arthur  Loucks ;  chaplain,  Mrs.  C.  L.  Rice  ; 
secretary,  F.  G.  Page;  treasurer,  H.  R.  Mills;  gate  keeper.  Con. 
Downey ;  Flora,  Rosabel  Pike ;  Pomona,  Mrs.  F.  G.  Page ;  Ceres, 
Mrs.  E.  B.  Loucks ;  lady  assistant  steward,  Ruth  Eraser;  organist, 
Mrs.  F.  G.  Page.  The  officers  were  installed  by  C.  B.  Hoyt  and 
the  members  were  obligated.  At  that  time  Enterprise  Grange  had 
a  membership  of  103.  It  is  now  the  banner  grange  of  the  state. 
This  and  Lansing  Grange,  No.  605,  Arthur  Parkins,  master,  are 
the  only  ones  now  in  existence  in  the  county. 

The  grange  is  considered  of  great  benefit  to  all  patrons  of 
husbandry,  agriculturally,  educationally,  and  a  great  help  in  co- 
operative buying  in  large  quantities,  greatly  to  the  benefit  of  the 
consumer.  Educationally  and  socially  it  is  a  great  benefit  to  any 
community.  It  was  the  cause  of  getting  rural  free  delivery,  and 
long  defunct  Granges  are  now  rapidly  springing  into  new  life  on 
every  side.  It  is  surely  a  great  organization  to  get  the  producer 
and  consumer  together,  thus  avoiding  too  many  middlemen's 
profits.  It  is  also  against  the  big  combination  and  trusts.  It  has 
subordinate  county,  state  and  national  Granges  which  are  doing 
a  splendid  work. 


The  month  of  June,  1908,  brought  to  Mower  county  a  series 
of  severe  storms  that  culminated  on  the  afternoon  of  Saturday, 
June  20,  with  the  most  disastrous  one  that  has  ever  swept  the 
county  vdthin  the  memory  of  man.  The  loss  to  buildings  and  to 
crops  was  estimated  at  the  time  to  be  about  $750,000,  and  this 
was  followed  on  June  22  by  a  flood  at  the  city  that  did  damage 
to  the  amount  of  many  thousands  of  dollars. 

For  several  days  there  had  been  an  unusual  degree  of 
humidity.  On  Thursday,  June  18,  there  were  cyclonic  conditions. 
That  evening  a  brilliant  electrical  storm  swept  the  entire  county 
and  several  buildings  were  destroyed  by  lightning.  At  9:30  p.  m. 
a  tornado  struck  the  village  of  Adams,  doing  damage  to  the 
amount  of  $2,500.  The  path  of  the  tornado  was  four  rods  wide 
and  e."xtended  a  quarter  of  a  mile.  There  were  small  twisters  in 
Dexter  and  Sargeant  townships.  The  lightning  caused  a  $10,000 
fire  at  Sargeant  village.  The  bolt  set  fire  to  the  ]\Iartin  Stephen- 
son grain  elevator  which  liurned  to  the  ground.  The  fire  extended 
to  the  coal  sheds,  to  the  Chicago  Great  Western  depot  and  a 
freight  car  was  there  totally  destroyed.     Lightning  also  struck 


the  steeple  of  the  German  Lutheran  church  in  the  Seebach  dis- 
trict in  Dexter,  practically  destroying  it.  Several  barns  were 
destroyed  by  fire,  caused  by  lightning,  and  much  live  stock  was 

On  the  succeeding  night,  Friday,  June  19,  another  wonder- 
fully brilliant  electrical  storm  SAvept  the  county,  killing  inuch 
live  stock  and  burning  several  barns. 

Saturday,  June  20,  came  with  an  increase  of  the  cyclonic  con- 
ditions. The  morning  was  warm  and  the  air  was  filled  with 
moisture.  As  the  day  wore  on  the  sultriness  increased.  Soon 
after  noon  the  storm,  clouds  again  appeared.  By  3:15  it  was  so 
dark  that  lamps  were  lighted  in  stores  and  workshops.  Just 
i)erore  i  o'clock  a  deep  black  cloud  came  up  from  the  southwest 
Avith  an  advance  line  of  foaming  whitish  cloud  that  reminded  om- 
of  the  surf  beating  against  the  shore.  Just  behind  this  lighter 
cloud  appeared  the  sign  of  the  approaching  tornado — a  copper 
colored  band.  The  storm  cloud  caused  intense  fear  and  hun- 
dreds sought  shelter  in  cellars.  The  tornado  marked  cloud 
veered  to  the  west  of  the  city,  but  the  black  cloud  that  followed 
passed  directly  over  Austin.  A  few  drops  of  rain,  followed  by 
hail  varying  from  the  size  of  a  pea  to  the  size  of  a  walnut,  fell. 
"With  the  hail  came  a  wind  storm  which  lasted  forty  minutes. 
The  course  of  the  wind  in  that  short  space  of  time  changed  from 
the  southwest  to  the  north.  Houses  were  racked  to  the  founda- 
tion and  many  Avere  unroofed.  Barns  and  sheds  Avere  bloAvn 
doAA'n,  trees  that  had  AA-eathered  the  elements  for  half  a  century 
were  torn  out  by  the  roots  and  rolled  about  as  playthings  of  the 
storm  king.  The  electric  current  Avas  turned  off  from  the  station, 
for  hundreds  of  electric  light,  telephone  and  telegraph  Avires  were 
strcAvn  about  the  streets.  Hardly  a  street  was  passable  and  the 
fire  department,  street  department  and  half  a  hundred  men  AA'erc 
put  to  work  as  soon  as  the  storm  abated  to  cut  a  direct  Avay 
along  the  streets  of  the  city.  At  Evergreen  Farm  a  thousand 
evergreen  trees  were  destroyed.  Great  damage  Avas  done  at 
beautiful  OakAvood  cemetery.  Some  of  the  heaviest  losers  bj"^  the 
storm  in  Austin  Avere :  The  Hormel  Packing  Company,  Avhich 
had  fine  l)uildings  partly  unroofed,  thousands  of  doUars  Avorth 
of  sugar  and  saltpeter  spoiled  by  tlie  rain,  Avhich  also  ruined  a 
large  amount  of  printed  labels.  Loss  about  $15,000.  At  the 
county  fair  grounds  the  grand  stand,  fine  art  building,  ladies' 
building,  poultry  exhibit  hall,  besides  many  of  the  sheds  and 
barns,  Avere  destroyed.  The  loss  there  was  about  $10,000.  The 
round  liouse  and  machine  shops  of  the  Chicago,  Milwaukee  &  St. 
Paul  road  Avere  damaged  about  $8,000.  A.  N.  Kinsman's  green 
houses  Avere  riddled  Avith  hail  and  tlic  aaIiuI  tAvisted  the  frames. 
His  loss  Avas  estimated   at  $5,000.     'I'hc   two   tdeplione  systems 


were  damaged  $5,000  each.  "Wind  and  rain  damaged  the  Grand 
hotel  about  $2,000.  Some  of  the  other  heavy  losses  by  the  storm 
were  Austin  Cement  Stone  Company,  building  damaged  $3,000; 
Austin  Steam  Laundry,  $2,000;  George  Hirsh,  $1,500;  Donovan 
&  Goslee,  $2,000;  S.  M.  Normal  College,  $1,000;  Franklin  school 
Iniilding,  $1,000;  Gripman  Bros.,  $1,000.  Twenty-two  other 
buildings,  damaged  $200  to  $1,000.  Besides  this  almost  every 
building  in  the  city  was  damaged  to  some  extent.  Lightning 
struck  the  steeple  of  St.  Augustine's  church  and  tore  out  a  rock 
of  brown  stone  Aveighing  300  pounds. 

The  loss  in  the  country  to  buildings  and  crops  ran  into  hun- 
dreds of  thousands  of  dollars.  A  tornado  swept  across  the  town- 
ship of  Udolpho,  cutting  a  path  two  to  three  rods  wide  and 
extending  to  Waltham  township.  Along  this  line  the  wind  and 
hail  destroyed  every  blade  of  the  growiag  crops.  The  damage 
at  Lansing  was  light,  most  of  it  occurring  near  the  Austin  line. 
The  storm  at  Dexter  made  the  fields  look  as  if  they  had  been 
plowed.  At  Grand  Meadow  the  hail  storm  v.'as  so  severe  that 
scarcely  a  pane  of  glass  was  left  in  the  windows  on  the  north 
side  of  any  iiouse  in  the  township  or  village.  Racine  escaped 
Avith  little  rain  and  hail.  In  Waltham  and  Sargeant  the  storm 
did  damage  estimated  at  $30,000.  In  Adams  village  600  panes  of 
glass  were  broken  by  the  hail.  This  township  suffered  severely 
in  loss  of  crops,  windmills  and  barns.  Lodi  suffered  heavily  from 
liail.  In  some  parts  of  the  county  the  hail  congealed  into  jagged 
chunks  of  ice  as  big  as  a  man's  fist  and  hogs  and  horses  were 
killed  in  the  fields.  Trees  were  stripped  of  every  vestige  of 
bark.  There  seems  to  have  been  several  tornadoes  connected 
Avith  the  storm,  for  the  ruins  left  in  Avidely  separated  toAvnships 
shoAved  the  marks  of  tlie  tAvister. 


On  Sunday  everybody  was  out  viewing  the  ruins  of  the  Avind 
storm.  There  was  no  thought  of  more  damage  to  come.  Monday 
morning  found  the  Cedar  river  rapidly  rising  and  before  the 
day  ended  the  Avaters  had  taken  out  the  iron  bridge  which 
spanned  the  Cedar  on  Bridge  street,  swept  through  the  Kinsman 
greenhouses,  doing  thousands  of  dollars  Avorth  of  damage.  They 
fiooded  the  electric  light  station,  shutting  doAvn  the  poAver  and 
leaving  the  city  in  darkness.  The  Austin  gas  plant  Avas  sub- 
merged and  damaged  $2,000.  The  plant  of  the  Austin  Weed 
Externiinator  Company  Avas  under  water  and  damaged  about 
$1,000.  The  Avater  Avas  so  high  a  couple  of  men  rowed  a  boat 
into  Brown's  barber  shop  Avhich  was  then  located  in  the  basement 
of  the  George  Hirsh  block.    There  was  no  way  to  drive  across  the 


Cedar  river  as  all  the  bridges  were  submerged  excepting  the 
Chicago  Great  "Western  railroad  bridge.  Practically  all  work  in 
the  city  was  suspended  and  the  people  went  out  to  watch  the 
greatest  flood  the  city  had  ever  seen. 


The  Mower  County  Farmers'  Fire  and  Lightning  Mutual 
Insurance  Company  is  a  permanent  feature  in  this  county.  It 
has  2,499  policies  in  force  at  the  present  time  amounting  to  some 
$5,717,-758.  The  company  was  organized  as  the  Mower  County 
Fire  Insurance  Company  at  a  meeting  held  at  the  court  house 
September  16,  1885.  W.  D.  Medbery  Avas  in  the  chair  and  R. 
Eckford  acted  as  clerk.  The  nine  directors  elected  were:  G.  L. 
Case,  Robert  Eckford,  H.  W.  Lightley,  J.  J.  Furlong,  G.  Seebach, 
J.  A.  Thompson,  Daniel  Williams,  Ole  0.  Finhart  and  E.  S.  Hop- 
pin.  The  officers  were:  President,  G.  L.  Case;  secretary,  R. 
Eckford;  treasurer,  E.  S.  Hoppin.  The  name  was  soon  changed 
to  the  Farmers'  Fire  and  Storm  Mutual  Insurance  Company. 
Business  was  commenced  December  1,  1885,  and  one  year  later 
203  policies  were  in  force,  covering  insurance  of  $271,226.  In 
1891  the  name  was  changed  to  the  Austin  Farmers'  Fire  Insur- 
ance Company.  Early  in  1901  it  became  the  Austin  Farmers' 
Fire  and  Lightning  Insurance  Company,  and  on  May  8  of  the 
same  year  it  assumed  its  present  name.  The  present  officers  are : 
President,  J.  J.  Furlong :  secretary,  A.  Hotson ;  treasurer,  C. 
Proeschel;  J.  H.  DeRemer,  Frank  Haney,  D.  L.  Tanner,  C.  L. 
Schroeder,  H.  F.  Kezar  and  Nils  Anderson. 

The  Austin  Mutual  Hail  Insurance  Company  A\as  started  in 
]Mankato  in  1896  and  Avas  moved  to  various  places.  Senator 
Charles  F.  Cook  took  hold  of  the  concern  some  two  years  ago 
and  moved  the  headquarters  to  Austin.  This  has  given  it  new 
life,  and  it  is  growing  rapidly.  About  one  thousand  policies  are 
in  force  and  some  hundred  agents  employed.  The  officers  are: 
President,  C.  F.  Cook ;  vice  president,  Andrew  French ;  treasurer, 
H.  L.  Banfield. 




Importance  of  Fruit  Growing  in  Mower  County — "Experiences 
of  a  Veteran  Horticulturist,"  by  John  C.  Hawkins — Fruit 
Growing  in  the  Early  Days — The  Minnesota  and  Mower 
County  Horticultural  Societies  Organized — Difficulties  En- 
countered in  Developing  Mower  County  as  a  Fruit  Growing 
Section — Persistent  Efforts — Oldest  Orchard  in  Mower 
County — Seedlings  Raised  Here. 

There  are  no  statistics  of  a  more  recent  date  than  1900  which 
could  be  secured  on  which  to  base  an  estimate  of  the  number 
of  apple  trees  growing  in  Mower  county,  but  a  conservative  esti- 
mate built  on  the  number  reported  in  1900  and  the  sales  of  local 
nursery  men  puts  the  figure  well  past  the  two  million  mark. 
Apples  are  yearly  shipped  out  of  the  county  to  Illinois  and  other 
states.  The  State  Horticultural  Society  does  a  splendid  work  in 
educating  our  people  and  also  in  the  encouragement  of  fruit 
growing  and  the  raising  of  seedlings.  Hundreds  of  horticulturists 
are  now  experimenting  in  the  hope  of  getting  a  winter  apple 
that  will  equal  the  Baldwin  in  all  particulars  and  exceed  it  in 
some,  and  also  win  the  reward  of  $1,000  which  the  state  society 
offers  for  such  an  apple.  Good  winter  apples  are  now  raised, 
but  the  state  wants  an  apple  that  will  bring  to  jMinnesota  as 
much  fame  as  its  butter  has  done.  Mower  county  horticulturists 
are  members  of  the  Southern  jMinnesota  Horticultural  Society, 
which  meets  yearly.  The  society  has  over  one  hundred  members, 
Avho  are  enthusiastic  in  the  work. 

Some  idea  of  the  horticultural  resources  of  our  county  was 
given  at  our  county  fair  held  at  Austin  in  September,  1909,  when 
sixty  varieties  of  apples  and  twenty-three  varieties  of  plums  were 
displayed  for  premiums.  Grapes,  pears  and  peaches  were  also 

John  C.  Hawkins  is  one  of  the  veteran  entliusiasts  in  Mower 
county  on  the  subject  of  apple  and  plum  growing  in  this  vicinity. 
For  many  years  he  has  labored  in  this  cause,  and  has  lived  to 
see  his  work  bear  fruit.  The  folloAving  article,  entitled  "Ex- 
])eriences  of  a  Veteran  Ilorticultnrist,"  has  l)eeii  prepared  by 
him  expres.sly  for  this  history. 

What  do  1  knoAV  about  horticulture^  from  tlie  standpoint  of  a 
veteran?  Veteran,  I  suppose,  means  old  j'nd  worn  out,  and  in 
that  respe-t  !  nm  .-iblc  1o  fill  Hie  lull.  1  mi;,'ht  as  well  state  before 
T  begin  that  "1  w;is  horned  on  the  liorder  of  the  Old  Dominion, 


right  dare  among  the  niggers,  but  was  fetched  up  among  de 
white  folks  and  know'd  some  of  de  fust  families  berry  well." 
They  always  wore  seedy  hats  and  manifested  a  general  appear- 
ance of  that  sort,  talked  politics  exclusively  and  knew  but  little 

We  had  no  horticultural  societies  then.  They  are  all  creatures 
of  a  later  growth.  Our  friiits  were  all  seedlings,  and  no  one  sup- 
posed that  we  could  improve  on  nature.  We  now  claim  that  some 
of  our  best  fruits  have  originated  from  sports  widely  different 
from  the  parent  tree.  All  the  "sports''  we  knew  anything  about 
at  that  time  were  our  fast  young  men.  If  one  tree  happened  to 
bear  better  fruit  than  the  other,  all  the  boys  in  the  neighborliood 
knew  about  it,  and  the  owner  must  be  content  with  what  he 
could  get.  Hence  he  did  not  care  to  improve  his  fruits — not 
even  for  the  sake  of  the  boys.    I  was  there,  and  I  know. 

We  used  to  have  glorious  times  at  the  apple  parings  which 
Avere  held  around  in  the  neighborhood,  and  where  each  boy 
paired  off  with  his  best  girl,  or  at  least  tried  to.  We  had  no 
such  thing  as  fruit  dryers  then.  The  sun  did  the  business  with 
the  assistance  of  the  flies,  the  bees  and  the  bugs.  The  fruit  was 
placed  upon  scaffolds  out  of  doors,  or  hung  on  strings  about  the 
old  fire  place.  Pumpkins  were  sliced  and  strung  up  in  the  same 
manner  to  dry,  and  such  delicious  pies  Auntie  could  make ! 
"Auntie,"  you  understand,  was  not  a  real  name,  but  meant  par- 
excellence  and  denotes  the  highest  degree  of  honor  bestowed 
upon  the  darkey  cook. 

The  fruits  grown  at  that  time  were  not  very  inviting,  and 
consequently  there  was  little  market  for  them ;  in  fact,  no  one 
thought  of  growing  fruit  for  that  purpose.  I  never  saw  a  culti- 
vated strawberry  until  after  I  was  grown.  There  were  some 
wild  ones  growing  along  a  ditch  in  my  father's  meadow,  and  he 
used  to  trounce  me  for  tramping  down  the  grass  to  get  a  taste 
of  those  berries,  so  is  it  any  wonder  that  I  am  such  an  enthusiastic 
horticulturist  ? 

I  believe  it  was  Massachusetts  that  first  set  the  ball  in  motion 
with  such  men  as  Marshall  P.  Wilder  in  the  lead.  What  has  been 
the  result?  Horticultural  societies  have  been  formed  and  ex- 
tended throughout  every  state  and  almost  every  county  in  the 
Union.  What  are  we  doing?  Experimenting;  not  blindly,  but 
scientifically  in  the  production  of  newer  and  better  varieties  of 
fruits  and  flowers,  always  holding  fast  the  best  until  something 
better  is  attained.  But  how  has  tliis  wonderful  result  been 
brought  about?  Through  the  means  of  influence  of  any  particu- 
lar section  or  society?  No;  but  through  the  united  eft'orts  of  all 
the  societies  of  all  the  states  combined  working  together  for  the 
common  good.     This  concentrated  action  in  a  measure  controls 


the  markets,  systematizes  the  handling,  packing  and  shipping  of 
fruits,  and  regulates  charges,  commissions,  etc. 

Now  let  us  turn  to  Minnesota  as  one  of  those  states  having 
a  distinct  yet  undivided  interest  in  common  Avith  all  the  other 
states.  She  has  been  the  child  of  circumstances  from  her  birth, 
located  so  far  north  as  to  be  almost  beyond  tlie  limits  of  fruit 
growing.  It  has  been  said,  and  I  believe  truthfully,  that  any 
country  that  could  not  grow  its  own  fruits  sufficient  for  the 
common  wants  of  the  people  could  never  attain  to  a  high  state 
of  civilization.  Does  anyone  suppose  if  all  the  difficulties  that 
lay  in  the  way  could  have  been  foreseen  that  anyone  of  these 
veterans  would  have  been  crazy  enough  to  have  attempted  to 
form  a  horticultural  society  in  Minnesota  1  But  necessity  knowa 
no  law.  We  must  have  fruit,  and  we  "went  it  blind,"  often- 
times reaching  out  our  hands  in  error,  expecting  a  prize  but 
receiving  only  a  blank.  When  I  look  into  the  face  of  experience 
it  reminds  me  of  the  chaplain  in  the  Confederate  army  who 
prayed  most  fervently  that  the  Lord  would  give  the  soldiers 
more  courage,  when  a  veteran  cried  out,  "We  have  courage 
enough  already:  pray  for  victuals."  Ye  veterans  who  have  been 
fighting  so  long  against  such  fearful  odds,  going  a  little  here 
and  a  little  there,  begin  now  to  see  the  silver  lining  that  skirts 
the  cloud  that  reflects  the  light  from  the  opening  gates  of  heaven ! 
But  in  order  to  carry  out  this  great  work  there  must  be  united 
effort  on  the  part  of  every  horticulturist,  and  I  would  especially 
call  your  attention  to  the  efficiency  of  the  ladies.  Nothing  in 
life  stimulates  action  so  much  or  makes  our  burdens  so  light 
as  the  sound  of  a  happy  voice  with  the  light  of  a  pleasant  eye. 
Those  who  wish  to  attend  the  apple  paring  should  always  come 
in  "pairs."  Our  younger  members  in  all  probability  will  not 
be  required  to  sacrifice  time  and  means  with  so  little  reward 
a.s  those  who  have  preceded  them.  The  work  of  the  Minnesota 
society  has  been  well  laid  out  and  skillfully  managed.  We  have 
the  State  Experimental  Farm  that  is  doing  a  grand  work  in 
the  interests  of  horticulture,  and  then  we  have  auxiliary  stations 
in  different  parts  of  the  state  that  make  their  annual  reports  to 
the  central  head  station.  All  these  reports  come  before  this 
society  and  are  published  in  its  transactions,  and  in  addition 
runners  are  sent  abroad  everywhere  to  spy  out  the  land  and 
gather  in  goodly  fruits  for  the  benefit  of  the  commonwealth  at 

In  regard  to  myself,  I  can  only  say  that  my  pride  runs  parallel 
with  that  of  a  friend  of  mine  who  always  boasted  of  having 
been  born  in  Boston,  and  declared  if  he  had  to  be  born  again  a 
hundred  limes  he  would  go  straight  back  to  Boston  every  time. 
I  have  111)  wisli  to  live  my  time  over  again,  not  even  to  correct 


the  "mistakes  of  Moses,"  but  if  the  mantle  of  youth  could  be 
thrown  around  me  again  I  should  fall  in  with  this  society  and 
pitch  my  tent  within  some  garden  of  roses. 

Small  fruits  of  all  kinds  can  be  successfully  grown  in  Mower 
county.  I  planted  my  first  fruit  trees  in  1868,  bought  of  Jordan 
&  Co.,  Rochester,  ]\Iinn.  They  survived  a  few  years — and  went 
to  the  brush  pile.  Then  I  tried  Rockford,  111.  They  soon  went 
the  same  way.  About  this  time  I  joined  the  Minnesota  State 
Horticultural  Society  and  got  aeciuainted  with  J.  S.  Harris,  of 
La  Crescent,  Minn.,  who  kindly  gave  me  much  fatherly  advice 
and  direction  in  planting  and  care  of  a  young  orchard.  My 
neighbors  began  to  take  notice  and  ask  questions.  Do  you  ex- 
pect to  grow  apples  and  plums  in  this  cold,  bleak  climate?  "Why, 
certainly!"  "Well,  I  guess  not."  But  I  kept  tramping  along, 
leaving  my  footprints  all  over  this  county,  so  that  I  am  known 
to  everyone  as  the  "Apple  Crank  and  Plum  Fool."  We  finally 
felt  the  need  of  a  local  organization.  So  Bro.  F.  W.  Kimbal, 
of  Austin,  and  Bro.  Clarence  Wedge,  of  Albert  Lea,  got  together 
and  organized  the  Southern  Minnesota  Horticultural  Society.  It 
was  a  success  from  the  start.  Fillmore  county  came  in,  then 
Steele  county,  and  we  now  have  four  counties  'in  our  territory. 

There  are  hundreds  of  young  orchards  in  this  county  just 
coming  into  bearing,  ranging  in  size  from  a  few  trees  to  fifteen 
hundred  and  two  thousand. 

Some  time  ago  I  visited  the  oldest  orchard  in  this  county, 
planted  by  E.  D.  Ames,  of  Lyle  township  in  1857.  Mr.  Ames 
said  that  in  1863  this  orchard  bore  some  fruit,  in  1864  a  fair 
crop,  and  has  borne  every  year  since  with  the  exception  of  this 
last  year.  A  great  many  varieties  died,  but  there  are  some 
"grand  old  trees"  left  yet  that  are  producing  fine  crops  every 
year.  I  especially  noticed  two  varieties,  "Haas"  and  "Dutchess" 
are  inscribed  on  their  trunks  and  they  are  good  for  another  half 

There  are  several  seedlings  originated  in  this  county.  E.  D. 
Ames  has  a  fine  Avinter  variety.  Decker's  seedling  has  been 
growing  between  thirty  and  forty  years  on  the  farm  of  J.  S. 
Decker,  just  east  of  the  city  of  Austin.  This  is  a  large  apple, 
somewhat  in  shape  and  color  between  Malinda  and  Northwest 
Greening.  L.  W.  Prosser  has  a  seedling  apple  named  after  him- 
self. It  is  probably  a  seedling  from  the  Wealthy.  This  is  a  fine 
apple,  medium  size,  color  yellow,  ground  splashed  with  red,  mild, 
sub-acid.  Some  trees  are  more  prepotent  than  others.  The 
Wealthy  is  remarkable  in  this  respect.  It  has  produced  the 
Peter,  almost  identical  with  itself,  and  the  Evelyn  and  Perfect 
hav<'  many  jxiiiits  in  coiinuon  witli  it.  The  Pros.ser,  supposed 
to  be   a   seedling  of  it,    i-csciiil)l('s    it   in    size   and   color  of  fruit. 


The  Southern  Minnesota  Horticultural  Society  a  few  years  ago 
(distributed  hundreds  of  seedlings  from  the  Wedge  nursery  at 
Albert  Lea  that  will  be  heard  from  in  the  near  future. 


State  and  County  School  System — First  Schools  and  First  Dis- 
tricts in  Mower  County — State  Aid — Equipment — Literary 
Societies — Meetings  for  Officers,  Teachers  and  Pupils — Ex- 
hibits and  Contests — Institutes  and  Summer  Schools — Pa- 
rochial Schools — Story  of  the  Districts — Prepared  with  the 
Assistance  of  Miss  Grace  B.  Sherwood. 

In  the  story  of  American  civilization  the  establishment  of  the 
school  and  the  church  has  been  coincident  with  the  building  of 

However,  at  the  formation  of  the  Union,  and  later,  when  the 
federal  government  was  established,  there  was  no  definite  line  of 
action  as  to  public  education,  although  at  the  same  time  that 
the  Constitution  was  adopted  the  last  session  of  the  Continental 
Congress  was  being  held  in  the  city  of  New  York,  and  the  Ordi- 
nance of  1787  was  passed,  regulating  the  affairs  pertaining  to  the 
Northwest  territory,  including  that  portion  of  Minnesota  lying 
east  of  the  Mississippi  river.  In  this  ordinance  much  attention 
was  given  to  the  question  of  providing  a  means  of  public  educa- 
tion, by  giving  one  section  in  each  congressional  township  for 
educational  purposes.  Later,  Avhen  the  purchase  of  Louisiana 
was  effected,  and  Minnesota  sought  admission  into  the  Union, 
still  further  provision  Avas  made  for  education  by  giving  two 
sections  in  each  congressional  township  for  such  purposes.  This 
gave  impetus  to  the  natural  tendency  toward  educational  mat- 
ters, and  we  find  that  one  of  the  first  efforts  in  the  ncAv  settle- 
ments was  to  prepare  to  educate  the  children.  The  church  and 
the  school  building,  Avhen  not  one  and  the  same,  Avere  practically 
always  found  side  by  side.  The  hardy  pioneers  of  the  Great 
NorthAvest — of  which  Minnesota  was  a  part — did  not  Avait  CA^en 
for  a  territorial  government,  but  set  to  work  at  once  to  establish 
schools.  The  first  one  in  Minnesota,  for  the  education  of  Avhite 
children,  Avas  organized  by  Dr.  Williamson,  at  the  present  site 
of  the  city  of  St.  Paul.  We  are  told  that  investigation  demon- 
strated  thiit   tlicrc   Avei'c  about   tliirtv-six   children   in   the  settle- 


ment  who  might  attend  a  school.  A  log  house,  10x12  feet,  covered 
with  bark  and  chinked  with  mud,  previously  used  as  a  black- 
smith shop,  was  secured  and  converted  into  a  schoolhouse,  and 
taught  by  Miss  Bishop.  Here,  then,  while  the  United  States 
troops  were  gaining  such  signal  success  in  the  war  with  Mexico, 
was  begun  the  system  of  education  which  has  become  one  of  the 
best  in  this  great  nation.  In  this  same  little  schoolhouse,  in 
November,  1849,  Avas  held  a  meeting  for  the  purpose  of  estab- 
lishing a  system  of  public  education,  based  upon  the  congressional 
act  of  March,  1849,  establishing  Minnesota  territory.  Alexander 
Ramsey,  of  Pennsylvania,  when  appointed  governor,  proceeded 
at  once  to  assume  the  duties  of  his  office.  In  his  first  message  to 
the  territorial  legislature,  in  the  fall  of  1849,  he  emphasized  the 
need  of  wise  measures  looking  to  the  establishment  of  a  system 
of  public  education  in  these  words:  "The  subject  of  education, 
which  has  ever  been  esteemed  of  first  importance  in  all  new 
American  communities,  deserves,  and,  I  doubt  not,  will  receive 
your  earliest  and  most  devoted  care.  From  the  pressure  of  other 
and  more  immediate  wants  it  is  not  to  be  expected  that  your 
school  system  should  be  very  ample,  yet  it  is  desirable  that  what- 
ever is  done  should  be  of  a  character  that  will  readily  adapt  itself 
to  the  growth  and  increase  of  the  country,  and  not  in  future 
years  require  a  violent  change  of  system." 

In  response  to  this  appeal  for  legislation  in  school  matters  we 
find  that  a  committee  on  education  was  appointed,  and  a  very 
able  report  was  made  by  the  chairman,  Hon.  Martin  McLeod. 
This  report  was  formulated  into  an  act  relating  to  public  schools 
in  Minnesota,  which  act  was  passed  on  the  last  day  of  the 
session,  November  1,  1849.  It  organized  the  territory  into 
districts,  of  which  the  township  was  the  unit,  and  provided  that 
if  a  township  had  within  its  limits  five  families  it  should  be 
considered  as  one  district,  but  if  it  contained  ten  families  it 
should  be  divided  into  two  districts.  Tax  levy  was  provided, 
and  a  system  of  management  arranged.  The  first  superintendent 
of  common  schools  for  the  territory  was  Rev.  E.  D.  Neill,  who 
served  till  1853.    His  salary  was  $100  a  year. 

The  first  school  instruction  in  IMower  county  was  given  in 
the  pioneer  homes  by  mothers,  who,  though  they  had  come  to  a 
new  country,  did  not  wish  their  children  to  grow  \\p  in  ignorance. 
The  public  system  in  the  county  started  in  1856,  and  in  that  year 
many  schools  and  school  districts  were  organized.  It  is  not 
known  definitely  where  or  when  the  first  public  school  was  opened 
in  Mower  county,  l)ut  the  school  taught  by  IMaria  Vaughan,  in 
Austin,  in  a  log  house  on  the  north  side  of  what  is  now  AVater 
street,  west  of  the  ("liieago  Great  Western  tracks,  was  one  of 
the  earliest.     Tliis  was  in  1855.     A  school  was  also  opened  in 


Le  Roj'  at  about  the  same  time.  The  first  sehoolhoiise  erected  in 
the  county  was  in  what  is  now  district  No.  4,  in  Le  Roy  town- 
ship. This  was  built  of  logs,  donated  and  put  up  by  the  citizens 
on  the  southeast  corner  of  the  quarter  of  the  north- 
west quarter  of  section  29.  township  101,  range  14.  This  land 
Avas  donated  for  school  purposes  by  J.  M.  "Wykoff,  still  a  resi- 
dent of  Le  Roy,  the  site  of  this  pioneer  school  being  now  a  part 
of  the  John  Frank  farm.  The  old  building  is  still  in  existence, 
and  is  located  on  the  farm  occupied  by  George  Klapper.  The 
first  teacher  in  this  old  schoolhouse  was  Melissa  Allen,  daughter 
of  David  Allen,  and  afterward  wife  of  Isaac  C.  Spencer.  The 
teachers  who  followed  her  were  N.  B.  Todd,  A.  J.  Porter,  Isaac 
Smith,  Celinda  Burnap,  Eliza  Pierce  and  Emma  Knapp.  N.  B. 
Todd,  the  second  teacher,  was  a  brother-in-law  of  J.  M.  Wykoff. 
Probably  the  only  pupil  still  remaining  in  this  vicinity  who 
attended  the  session  of  this  early  school  is  Mrs.  L.  "W.  Prosser, 
who  lives  near  Le  Roy.  Mrs.  Prosser  is  a  daughter  of  W.  B. 
Spencer,  who  was  a  prominent  pioneer  of  the  early  days. 

The  ^rst  three  districts  organized  by  the  commissioners  of 
]Mower  county,  July  7,  1856,  Avere  district  number  1,  now  dis- 
trict number  IG,  in  Frankford  township;  district  number  2,  all 
of  what  is  now  Red  Rock  township,  and  district  number  3, 
now  districts  number  35  and  36  in  Racine  township.  District  1 
included  sections  13.  14,  23,  24,  25  and  26  and  the  east  half  of 
sections  15,  22  and  27  in  township  103,  range  14.  The  petition 
was  presented  by  J.  "\V.  Farquir  and  others.  District  2  included 
all  of  township  103,  range  17,  and  the  petition  Avas  presented  by 
John  L.  Johnson.  District  3  included  the  south  half  of  section 
1  and  all  of  sections  2,  3,  10,  11  and  12,  toAvnship  103,  range  14. 
The  petition  Avas  presented  by  Louis  Chamberlain.  March  16,  1856, 
the  county  commissioners  levied  a  tax  for  school  purposes  equal 
to  one-quarter  of  one  per  cent  on  the  amount  of  the  assessment 
roll  as  returned  in  July. 

The  schools  in  the  coiimioii  disti-ic-ts  arc  under  tlie  immediate 
supervision  of  a  board  of  trustees  in  each  district,  consisting  of 
three  members,  the  special  and  independent  districts  having  a 
board  of  education,  consisting  of  from  five  to  seven  members. 
The  county  superintendent  liiis  general  supervision  of  the  schools 
in  the  county.  It  is  lier  duly  to  visit  each  school,  advise  teachers 
and  school  officers  in  regard  to  the  best  methods  of  instruction, 
the  most  approved  plans  for  building,  improving  and  ventilating 
schoolhouses  and  ornamenting  school  grounds:  conduct  teachers' 
and  officers'  meetings  and  make  reports  to  the  state  superin- 
t'udent  of  public  instruction. 

The  state  grants  special  aid  to  schools  coming  up  to  certain 
standards  of  requirements — $1,750  to  high  schools,  $600  to  graded 


seliools,  $300  to  semi-graded  schools,  $150  to  first  class  rural 
schools,  and  $100  to  second  class  rural  schools.  Mower  county 
at  the  present  thne  receives  special  state  aid  for  four  high  schools, 
three  graded  schools,  five  semi-graded,  twenty-seven  first  class 
rural  and  twenty-seven  second  class  rural  schools. 

Progressive  educators  hopefully  look  forward  to  tlie  time,  in 
the  near  future,  when  the  country  boys  and  girls  will  be  af- 
forded facilities  equal  to  the  best  in  the  cities — when,  as  a  re- 
sult of  consolidation  and  the  establishment  of  local  agricultural 
graded  and  high  schools,  each  teacher  will  not  be  required  to 
teach  more  grades  than  she  can  handle  to  best  advantage,  and 
the  pupils  be  enabled  to  secure  a  good  elementary  and  high 
school  education  without  leaving  home. 

There  are  now  139  organized  districts  in  the  county.  Of  these, 
four,  Austin,  Lyle,  LeRoy  and  Grand  IMeadow,  are  city  schools 
with  first  class  high  schools.  Three  are  graded  schools,  Adams, 
Brownsdale  and  Dexter,  each  with  four  teachers.  Five  are  semi- 
graded,  Taopi  and  Lansing  and  Waltham,  each  with  two  teach- 
ers, and  Racine  and  Rose  Creek,  each  with  three  teachers.  The 
others  are  one-roomed  schools.  There  are  ten  districts  which  are 
joint  with  other  counties  and  of  these  eight  have  their  school- 
houses  out  of  Mower  county.  Eleven  schools  have  an  enrollment 
of  less  than  ten  pupils  and  forty-two  have  an  enrollment  of  from 
ten  to  twenty.  The  largest  enrollment  is  forty-eight  pupils,  in 
district  65,  in  the  northern  part  of  Adams,  and  the  smallest  is 
five  pupils,  in  district  6,  in  the  southwestern  part  of  Adams. 

During  the  past  year  seventeen  districts  had  nine  months  of 
school ;  seventy-one  schools,  eight  months ;  twenty-two  schools, 
seven  months;  sixteen  schools,  six  months,  and  three  schools, 
five  months.  Most  of  the  short-year  school  districts  have  a  de- 
nominational session  a  part  of  the  year.  Four  of  the  districts 
have  no  school  in  session. 

During  the  year  1909-10  seventy-two  pupils  received  cei-tifi- 
cates  certifying  that  thoy  had  completed  eighth  grade  studies 
v/ith  credit.  During  the  present  year  some  300  are  planning  to 
take  the  examinations. 

Most  of  the  schools  are  well  equipped  Avith  those  things  which 
are  required  for  efficient  work.  IMany  of  the  schoolhouses  are 
new  and  the  old  ones  are  in  an  excellent  state  of  repair.  In 
the  whole  county  there  are  probably  not  more  than  six  schools 
that  could  be  called  in  poor  condition.  Eighty  schools  have  pat- 
ented lieating  plants  and  fifteen  of  the  rural  schools  have  fur- 
naces, wliich  are  well  looked  aftcf.  All  but  three  have  libraries. 
During  the  present  yeiii-  eiglity  seliools  will  meet  the  require- 
ment for  state  aid  in  addition  to  the  seven  higb  and  graded 


The  teachers'  training  schools,  which  are  conducted  in  the 
county  every  other  summer,  do  much  to  increase  the  efficiency 
of  the  teachers.  These  schools  are  paid  by  the  state  and  are 
conducted  under  the  direction  of  the  county  superintendent  and 
a  conductor  appointed  by  the  state  department  of  public  in- 
struction. Instruction  is  given  in  all  the  branches  required  for 
ji  teacher's  cei-tificate.  In  addition,  there  are  classes  in  various 
other  subjects.  These  schools  are  free  and  are  well  attended. 
It  is  expected  that  225  will  be  enrolled  this  year. 

There  are  various  literary  and  debating  societies  in  the  schools 
and  the  reading  circle  for  the  teachers  is  well  patronized.  An 
institute  is  held  every  other  spring  and  three  teachers'  meet- 
ings are  held  annually.  A  school  officers'  meeting  and  a  spelling 
contest  are  also  held  each  year.  The  annual  graduating  exercise 
were  held  last  year  at  Dexter,  with  a  picnic,  sports  and  various 
other  profitable  and  pleasant  events.  At  the  county  fair  each 
year  the  exhibits  of  the  children  make  an  excellent  showing,  a 
building  having  been  erected  for  this  purpose.  Last  year  280 
prizes  were  aAvarded  to  children  between  the  ages  of  eight  and 
sixteen  for  the  excellence  of  their  exhibits. 

Parochial  schools  have  l)een  conducted  in  various  communities 
ever  since  the  early  days.  There  are  various  types  of  these 
schools.  The  Catholics  have  excellent  schools  in  Austin,  Adams 
and  Johnsburg  (Adams).  In  these  schools  the  usual  graded  and 
high  school  subjects  are  taught,  and  religious  instruction  is  also 
given.  There  is  a  Norwegian  school  in  section  15,  Nevada 
township,  and  German  schools  are  located  in  section  29, 
"Waltham  township,  section  32,  Dexter  township  and  section  18, 
Pleasant  Valley  township.  In  some  communities,  as  has  already 
been  noted,  the  district  schoolhouses  are  used  for  sectarian  in- 
.struction  when  the  regular  public  school  is  not  in  session.  Schools 
are  held  also  in  several  of  tlie  churches  of  the  county. 

One  commercial  institution,  tlie  Southern  IMinnesota  Normal 
College,  is  located  at  Austin. 

In  the  graded  and  high  schools  of  the  county  there  are  2.020 
jmpils  enrolled  and  in  the  country  schools  there  are  2,899.  There 
are  204  teachers  employed.  year  the  expense  for  graded 
and  high  schools  was  .^96,675.97  and  the  expense  for  the  common 
schools  was  .^88,629.50. 

Udolpho.  Tlie  first  school  in  what  is  now  Udolpho  township 
was  a  select  school  taught  by  Eliza  A.  Wilcox  in  a  part  of  heB 
fatlier's  residence.  This  was  a  three  months'  term  in  the  Avinter 
of  1856-57.  Eliza  also  taught  a  term  of  district  school  in  the 
summer  of  1857  in  the  house  of  Thomas  Richardson,  in  section  16. 
For  lier  services  the  teacher  received  $2  a  week  and  boarded 
around.     District  49.     The  first  school  in  this  district  was  kept 


in  the  summer  of  1857  in  the  home  of  Thomas  Richardson,  by 
Eliza  A.  Wilcox.  The  district  was  organized  in  1859,  and  a  log 
schoolhouse  was  built  in  section  16.  Eliza  A.  Wilcox  was  also 
the  first  teacher  in  this  house.  It  was  used  for  school  purposes 
until  1870,  when  it  was  replaced  by  a  frame  building  located  on 
the  southeast  quarter  of  section  8.  Rosa  Carey  taught  the  first 
school  in  this  building.  District  50.  The  first  school  in  this  dis- 
trict was  a  summer  school,  in  1857,  and  Priscilla  Miller  Avas  the 
first  teacher.  The  school  was  held  in  a  log  house  erected  for  the 
purpose  by  the  neighbors,  in  the  northwest  corner  of  the  north- 
east quarter  of  section  26.  This  building  was  used  for  school 
purposes  until  the  spring  of  1866,  when  it  was  replaced  by  a  brick 
building,  erected  during  the  fall  of  1865,  on  the  southwest  cor- 
ner of  section  24.  This  building  has  been  replaced  with  a  wooden 
structure.  District  119  joint.  This  district  was  organized  as 
district  57  October  9,  1869,  and  the  first  school  was  held  that 
winter  at  the  house  of  John  Tuekerson  in  section  30,  Carlos  Man- 
chester being  the  teacher.  School  was  held  in  this  house  until 
1872,  when  a  small  house  was  erected  in  the  southeast  corner  of 
section  19.  Mr.  Manchester  was  also  the  first  teacher  in  this 
house.  District  60.  This  district  was  organized  in  the  winter  of 
1868  or  1869.  A  schoolhouse  was  erected  the  next  spring  in  the 
southeast  corner  of  section  2.  This  was  a  frame  house  and  the 
lumber  was  hauled  by  team  from  Red  Wing.  The  first  school 
after  the  completion  of  the  building  was  a  summer  session  kept 
by  Mrs.  Mary  Timber,  wife  of  E.  Thuber,  then  living  in  section 
10.  The  schoolhouse  was  afterward  moved  to  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  11.  District  76.  This  district  was  organized  in 
1869.  The  first  school  was  held  in  the  house  of  S.  H.  Smith  in 
section  33,  the  teacher  being  Hattie  L.  Sanford.  School  was  held 
in  the  house  of  Mr.  Smith  until  1876,  when  a  new  frame  house 
was  built  in  the  southwest  corner  of  the  northeast  quarter  of 
section  28.  Hattie  Ricker  was  the  first  teacher.  District  111 
joint  was  organized  by  the  legislature  during  the  session  of  1881- 
82,  and  the  schoolhouse  is  located  just  over  the  Freeborn  county 
line  in  Neury  township.  Myra  Maxwell  was  the  first  teacher, 
the  first  session  being  the  summer  term  of  1882.  District  70  and 
district  70  joint.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was  held  in 
the  dwelling  house  of  John  Torkelson,  in  1868-69.  Carlos  Man- 
chester was  the  teacher.  In  1870  a  schoolhouse  was  built  on  the 
old  Knut  Thompson  place.  Carlos  Manchester  was  also  teacher 
here.  That  school  was  maintained  until  1888.  In  1889  there  was 
a  division,  and  each  district  erected  a  new  schoolhouse.  The  first 
teacher  in  the  new  schoolhouse  in  district  79  joint  was  Gertrude 
^r.  Carll.  of  Fdolpho.  The  above  facts  were  gatliercd  by  Jolm  T. 


Lansing.  District  43.  The  first  school  in  Lansing  township 
Avas  a  summer  school  held  in  1858.  by  Ann  ]\Iathieson,  in  a  small 
house  built  for  a  residence  by  John  Pettibone,  in  section  11. 
The  first  schoolhouse  was  a  frame  building  erected  in  the  fall 
of  1858,  on  the  northeast  corner  of  section  11.  The  first  term 
was  taught  that  winter  by  George  Wood.  The  material  for  this 
was  native  lumber  sawed  at  the  steam  mill  at  Lansing.  The 
district  failed  to  pay  for  the  lumber  and  the  house  reverted  to 
the  parties  who  furnished  it.  It  was  sold  to  Mrs.  C.  S.  Rolph. 
In  1866  a  brick  building  was  erected,  in  the  southwest  corner  of 
section  2.  The  first  school  in  this  house  was  a  winter  term 
taught  by  John  E.  Robinson.  In  the  fall  of  1871  a  frame  addi- 
tion was  built.  District  43  embraces  the  village  of  Lansing.  Dis- 
trict 44,  Ramsey  village.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was  a 
small  log  house  situated  in  the  southeast  corner  of  the  southwest 
quarter  of  section  27.  The  first  school  was  kept  by  Charles  Oaks, 
in  the  winter  of  1857-58.  The  old  log  house  was  used  for  school 
purposes  until  the  summer  of  1866,  when  a  brick  building  was 
erected.  This  house  was  located  near  the  section  line  on  the 
east  side  of  section  22.  The  first  school  in  this  house  was  kept 
by  Romanda  S.  Carpenter.  In  1909  a  modern  brick  building  was 
erected.  This  is  one  of  the  best  rural  schools  in  the  state, 
equipped  with  all  the  latest  improvements.  Alice  ]\IcCarthy  was 
the  first  teacher.  In  1910,  Mrs.  Addie  Cook,  who  owns  one  of 
the  largest  farms  in  the  district,  presented  the  school  with  a 
piano.  District  45.  This  district  was  organized  in  1858,  and  a 
log  house  was  built,  gratutiously,  by  the  neighbors.  The  first 
school  was  taught  by  a  Miss  Richardson  in  the  summer  of  1858. 
This  house  was  used  as  a  school  until  1868,  when  a  frame  house 
was  built.  Ella  J.  Cook  was  the  first  teacher  in  this  building. 
District  101.  A  frame  schoolhouse  was  erected  in  section  13 
in  the  fall  of  1876,  with  Patrick  Gilroy  as  teacher.  District  122 
was  organized  in  1893,  and  a  schoolhouse  built  the  same  year  in 
section  20.  Paula  Brown  was  the  first  teacher.  District  72, 
joint.     This  school  is  located  in  Corning  village,  section  6. 

Austin.  District  27.  This  district  embraces  the  city  of  Aus- 
tin. The  first  school  in  Austin  township  outside  the  limits  of 
the  city  was  taught  in  the  winter  of  1857,  in  the  building  of 
Robert  Autis.  District  26.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was 
taught  in  the  house  of  M.  J.  Woodson  by  his  son  Henry  in  the 
summer  of  1858,  the  young  man  receiving  $10  a  month  for  his 
services.  James  Johnson  tauglit  the  second  term  of  school  in 
the  same  liouse.  In  1859  a  log  liouse  was  erected  on  the  north- 
east quarter  of  section  10.  George  and  Oliver  Beemis  gave  the 
h)gs  wliicb  wcic  cut  and  drawn  to  the  spot  l)y  M.  J.  and  W.  A. 
Woodson  and  II.  Van  AVinkle.     Abbie  Litchfield,  now  Mrs.  Eu- 


gene  Crane,  of  ^Minneapolis,  was  the  first  tear^her  in  this  house. 
George  Emery  was  tlie  first  teaclier  in  the  frame  house  built  on 
the  southwest  corner  of  section  11.  District  28.  This  district 
was  originated  at  a  meeting  held  at  the  house  of  D.  L.  Chandler 
in  the  winter  of  1856-57.  Welcome  Osborne,  D.  L.  Chandler  and 
George  Phelps  were  the  first  officers  in  this  district.  In  the 
summer  of  1857  a  log  schoolhouse  was  built  on  the  northeast 
corner  of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  32.  Delang  Richard- 
son was  the  first  teacher  in  this  house,  which  was  in  use  five 
years..  Then  a  house  was  built  in  the  southwest  corner  of  sec- 
tion 28.  Mary  Hoag  Avas  the  first  teacher.  District  29,  Varco 
Station.  The  first  schoolhouse  in  this  district  was  erected  in 
1857,  at  a  "bee"  of  the  neighbors,  being  built  from  logs.  Money 
was  raised  by  subscription  to  complete  the  building.  Delang 
Richardson  was  the  first  to  teach  in  this  house.  The  building 
was  located  in  the  southeast  corner  of  section  23.  In  1864  the 
building  was  burned  and  a  stone  house  was  erected  on  the  south- 
west corner  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  25.  Forest 
Marsh  was  the  first  teacher.  In  1879  this  building  was  torn 
down  and  a  frame  building  was  erected.  Mary  Hood  was  the 
first  teacher  in  this  house.  District  55.  The  first  school  in  this 
district  was  taught  by  Elizabeth  Stone,  in  a  claim  shanty  located 
on  the  southwest  corner  of  section  8.  This  was  in  1865.  In 
1869  a  frame  building  was  erected  on  the  southwest  corner  of 
the  northwest  quarter  of  section  17,  Mary  Scullen  being  the 
first  teacher.  District  128  has  a  schoolhouse  in  the  eastern  half 
of  section  21.  The  house  was  built  in  1900  and  Pearl  Bowers 
was  the  first  teacher. 

Lyle.  District  13.  The  first  school  in  this  district,  as  well 
as  the  first  taught  in  the  town,  was  in  session  during  the  sum- 
mer of  1856.  taught  by  IMaria  Vaughan,  in  a  log  house  built  by 
one  Pinkcrton  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  32.  Zillah 
Beach  afterward  taught  in  Lorenzo  Moshier's  house,  on  the  north- 
west quarter  of  section  29.  Thomas  Parker  was  an  early  teacher 
here.  Rev.  Samuel  Loomis  taught  in  Samuel  Surface's  house. 
In  1860  the  district  purchased  a  frame  building  in  Otranto  and 
moved  it  to  the  southeast  corner  of  the  northeast  quarter  of 
section  23.  T.  J.  Locke,  C.  R.  Houston,  ErAvin  Lyle  and  Dora 
Clappsaddle  were  early  teachers  in  that  house,  which  was  in 
use  until  1874.  In  this  year  was  built  a  house  in  the  northeast 
quarter  of  section  32.  S.  Anna  IMcCune  was  the  first  to  teach 
in  this  house.  In  the  spring  of  1908  this  building  was  burned' 
and  was  replaced  by  a  modern  frame  building  on  the  same  site. 
The  first  teacher  in  this  l)uilding  was  Dora  Drcwes.  District  12. 
About  the  year  1859  the  first  school  was  taught  in  this  district 
by  Rev.  Samuel  Loomis  in  a  log  house  standing  in  section  3.    Not 


long  after  this  a  schoolhouse  was  built  through  the  united  efforts 
of  the  people.  James  Foster  fui-nished  poplar  logs  for  the  body 
of  the  house.  C.  H.  Huntington  furnished  the  burr  oak  logs  for 
the  foundation.  The  men  of  the  district  cut  down  trees  and 
erected  the  building.  A  new  house  was  erected  on  the  same  site 
about  1879.  Al.  Hieock  was  the  first  teacher  in  this  house.  Dis- 
trict 14.  A  log  house  situated  on  the  southeast  quarter  of  sec- 
tion 5  and  formerly  owned  by  John  Tiftt,  housed  the  first  school 
in  the  district.  School  was  kept  here  four  terms,  beginning  in 
1856,  with  Nellie  Hawkins  as  first  instructor.  In  1870  a  frame 
building  was  erected  for  the  school  on  the  southeast  corner  of 
the  southwest  quarter  of  section  5.  The  first  who  taught  in 
tliis  house  was  Amelia  Houghton,  afterward  Mrs.  M.  B.  Slocum. 
The  building  was  later  removed  to  the  southeast  quarter  of 
section  5.  District  15.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was  taught 
by  Thomas  Parker  in  a  log  house  on  the  property  of  Josopli 
Thompson  in  the  southeast  corner  of  section  27.  This  was  re- 
placed in  1867  by  a  frame  building  in  the  northeast  quarter  of 
section  34.  The  first  teacher  in  this  Avas  a  Miss  Carpenter  from 
Michigan.  Five  years  later  in  1872  a  larger  house  was  erected 
on  the  same  site,  J.  W.  Weiser  Avas  the  first  teacher  in  this 
building.  This  building  was  destroyed  by  cyclone  and  replaced 
with  a  frame  edifice.  A  beautiful  surrounding  grove  was  also 
destroyed  by  the  storm.  District  70.  This  district  was  organ- 
ized in  1867  and  the  first  school  taught  by  Emma  Smith,  in  a 
small  frame  house  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  19.  In 
1874  a  larger  building  was  erected  on  the  old  site.  District  54. 
This  district  was  organized  in  1867  and  the  first  house  was  built 
of  logs  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  12,  the  first  teacher 
being  Cynthia  Addington.  In  1881  a  good  frame  house  Avas 
erected  on  the  southAvest  quarter  of  section  13.  Nina  Bisbit 
Avas  the  first  teacher  in  this  house.  District  57.  This  school 
is  located  in  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  15.  District  57, 
according  to  \V.  G.  Pace,  was  organized  August  17,  1892,  and  a 
schoolhouse  built  the  same  fall  on  the  west  side  of  the  south- 
east quarter  of  section  15.  Araminta  W.  Ileseman  was  the  first 
teacher.  District  !)0.  Tliis  district  has  a  fine  school  in  the  vil- 
lage of  Lyle.  Kxcclb'iit  Avork  has  been  done  in  manual  train- 
ing and  agriculture  in  addition  to  the  usual  school  duties.  The 
schoolhouse  is  a  Avcll-cquipii.'d  building  of  brick  and  nine  teach- 
ers are  employed.  A  liistory  of  tliis  district  is  given  in  connec- 
tion Avith  tlie  history  of  the  village  of  Lyle. 

Waltham.  Di.strict  58.  Waltham  village.  This  district  Avas 
organized  in  1866  and  a  frame  house  erected  on  the  nortlnvest 
corner  of  section  15.  Tlic  first  school  was  a  Aviiiter  term  in  1868. 
Dorothy  Johnson   AValkcr  was  llic  iir-st    teacher.     The  school  is 


now  housed  in  a  two-roomed  frame  building,  one  of  the  best 
equipped  in  the  county.  The  pupils  have  a  reputation  for  win- 
ning more  prizes  in  industrial  and  educational  contests  than  any- 
other  school  in  this  part  of  the  state.  District  61.  This  district 
was  organized  in  ]866.  The  first  school  was  a  summer  term  in 
18G7,  taught  by  Emma  Hoy.  in  a  schoolliousc  completed 
Ihat  year,  located  on  the  northwest  cornc%r  of  section  27.  Dis- 
trict 89.  This  district  was  organized  in  the  fall  of  1874.  A 
frame  house  was  erected  during  the  summer  of  the  following 
year  on  the  northwest  corner  of  the  southwest  quarter  of  sec- 
tion 35.  The  first  school  was  the  winter  term  of  1875-76  and 
was  taught  by  J.  L.  Dole,  siibstituting  for  his  daughter  Addie, 
who  after  being  engaged  to  teach  was  taken  ill.  The  schoolhouse 
is  now  located  in  the  soiithwest  qiiarter  of  section  26.  District 
93.  Tliis  Avas  organized  in  the  fall  of  1875  and  the  following 
spring  a  frame  schoolhouse  was  built  on  the  northeast  corner  of 
section  30.  The  first  school  was  taught  by  Belle  Leighton.  Dis- 
trict 110  was  organized  in  1881  and  the  first  school  kept  by 
Flossie  Brown,  a  frame  hoiise  having  been  erected,  in  the  south- 
east corner  of  section  6.  District  124  has  a  school  in  the  south- 
east quarter  of  section  1.  According  to  John  P.  Johnson,  the 
district  was  organized  in  1893  and  a  schoolhouse  Iniilt  the  same 
year  on  the  present  site.  Nora  0.  Chandler  was  the  first  teacher. 
In  1910  the  foundation  was  raised  and  laid  with  cement  blocks, 
a  new  fioor  was  put  in  and  a  Smith  heating  and  ventilation  sys- 
ti'm  installed.  District  126  has  a  schoolhouse  in  the  north  half 
of  section  23.  This  district  Avas  organized  in  1897.  The  school- 
house  was  brought  from  district  107  and  moved  west  to  its  pres- 
ent location. 

Red  Rock.  District  38,  Brownsdale  village.  This  district 
was  organized  in  1856  and -a  schoolhouse  built  that  year.  The 
first  teacher  was  Sarah  Ticknor.  This  house  was  burned  in  1858, 
but  immediately  rebuilt.  This  house  in  turn  was  burned  in  1871 
and  at  once  replaced  by  a  fine  building.  The  village  now  has  a 
four-room  schoolhouse  set  in  a  beautiful  grove.  It  became  a 
graded  school  last  year  and  is  well  equipped  for  excellent  work. 
District  37.  The  first  school  taught  in  this  district  was  a  select 
one  under  the  management  of  Mrs.  Angeline  A.  Tanner,  in  tlie 
summer  of  1859  at  the  house  of  Elder  Milo  Farril  in  section  13. 
The  first  district  school  was  in  the  winter  of  1860-61,  held  in 
tlie  log  granary  of  E.  E.  Tanner  in  section  12.  In  1862  a  frame 
house  was  erected  in  section  11.  The  first  school  in  this  house 
Avas  taught  l)y  S.  P.  SteAvart.  District  39  Avas  organized  in  the 
summer  of  1858  and  a  two  months'  term  of  school  taught  by 
Tina  Perry  in  the  house  in  section  5,  sessions  being  held 
in  the  homes  of  the  district  until  1864.  Avhcn  a  frame  house  Avas 


built.  The  school  was  erected  in  section  5.  The  first  school  in 
this  house  was  under  the  management  of  Eliza  A.  Simes.  Dis- 
trict 41.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was  in  the  summer  of 
3863,  kept  by  Emma  Hoy  in  a  small  house  in  section  33.  The 
following  summer  the  neighbors  erected  a  temporary  building 
of  poles  set  in  the  ground  and  board  up  in  section  34.  The  first 
school  in  this  building  Mas  kept  by  Mary  Lynch.  This  district 
was  organized  in  1865  and  a  frame  house  erected  in  section  34 
the  following  summer.  The  first  school  in  this  house  was  also 
kept  by  Emma  Hoy.  District  42.  The  first  school  in  this  dis- 
trict was  the  summer  term  of  1865  in  a  board  shanty  erected 
for  the  purpose  by  the  district  and  located  in  section  23.  Susan 
Bacon  was  the  first  teacher.  In  the  fall  of  1866,  the  district 
erected  a  schoolhouse  on  the  site  of  the  shanty  and  Mrs.  Sarah 
E.  Brown  was  the  first  teacher.  In  the  fall  of  1876  the  build- 
ing was  removed  to  section  24.  District  68.  In  1869  an  eifort 
was  made  to  organize  this  district,  but  owing  to  some  irregu- 
larities nothing  further  Avas  done  until  1876,  when  the  district 
Avas  fully  organized  and  a  frame  house  erected  in  time  for  the 
summer  term,  Avhich  Avas  taught  by  Lyle  Lynch.  The  school  is 
located  in  section  29.  District  115.  This  district  AA'as  organized 
in  1878  and  a  frame  schoolhouse  erected  the  folloAving  spring 
on  the  southwest  corner  of  section  35.  The  first  school  in  this 
house  was  taught  by  ]\lary  HathaAvay,  Avho  later  became  ]\Irs. 
EdAvard  Slocum.  District  116  Avas  organized  by  the  legislature 
of  1881.  and  the  first  school  AA^as  taught  that  spring  by  jMary 
Rugg.    The  school  is  in  the  northwest  corner  of  section  23. 

Windom.  District  40.  This  district  Avas  originally  a  part  of 
district  23.  The  first  school  was  taught  in  the  spring  of  1857  by 
Jane  Reeves  in  a  board  shanty  in  section  6,  oAvned  by  Henry  Fero. 
In  the  fall  of  that  year  a  log  schoolhouse  Avas  erected  in  the 
southAvest  corner  of  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  6.  This  Avas 
the  first  building  erected  for  educational  purposes  in  the  toAvn- 
ship.  ]\Iaria  Slocum  Avas  the  first  teacher  in  this  building.  In 
1867  the  district  Avas  divided,  and  district  40  assumed  its  present 
number.  Lumber  was  purchased  for  a  schoolhouse,  but  for  a 
time  school  was  taught  in  a  temporary  shanty  erected  on  the 
northeast  corner  of  section  6.  ]\laggie  Smith,  now  Mrs.  Man- 
chester, of  Minneapolis,  taught  the  first  term  there.  Soon  after 
a  frame  building  was  erected  on  the  same  site,  and  Amelia  Hough- 
ton was  the  teacher.  District  23  originally  included  the  pres- 
ent district  40.  After  the  separation,  in  1867,  a  temporary  build- 
ing was  erected  in  the  southAvestern  part  of  the  northAvest  quarter 
of  section  7.  Amanda  Streavor  taught  the  first  term  in  this 
building.  In  1868  a  frame  house  Avas  built.  R('l)ecca  Otis  taught 
the  first  seliddl    in   this   building.     l)istri<'t   24  Avas  organized   in 


i  ^ 
1857.  The  first  school  was  taught  by  Mrs.  Horatio  Marsh  in  her 
home.  Mary  Slaven  completed  the  term.  The  following  year  a 
schoolhouse  was  erected  on  the  north  half  of  the  southeast  quarter 
of  section  20,  by  subscription.  Kate  Bailey  was  the  first  teacher 
in  the  house.  In  1868  a  frame  house  was  erected  on  the  north- 
east quarter  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  29,  Avith  Agnes 
Hull  as  the  first  teacher.  District  88  originally  included  dis- 
trict 25,  which  now  embraces  Rose  Creek  village.  The  district 
vv-as  organized  as  No.  25,  in  1859,  and  the  first  school  was  taught 
in  Patrick  O'Maley's  house,  with  Sarah  Slaven  as  first  teacher. 
School  was  afterward  taught  in  Michael  Slaven 's  house.  In  1864 
a  log  house  was  erected  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  the  southeast 
quarter  of  section  23,  in  which  Eosetta  Fuller  taught  the  first 
term  of  school.  In  1874  the  district  was  divided,  and  the  south 
half,  now  Rose  Creek  village,  retained  the  old  number.  In 
1876  a  frame  house  was  erected  in  the  south  part  of  section  13. 
District  25.  After  Rose  Creek  was  designated  as  district  25,  in 
1874,  and  the  remainder  of  the  district  set  off  as  No.  88,  a  frame 
house  was  erected  in  the  village  and  Mary  J.  Gregory  taught  the 
first  term.  In  the  summer  of  1908  a  four-room  bi'ick  building 
was  erected  in  Rose  Creek,  modern  in  every  respect.  District  22. 
This  district  was  organized  in  1865  and  a  frame  house  erected  on 
the  southeast  corner  of  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  10,  in 
which  ]\Ielinda  Brown  taught  the  first  school.  Roswell  Slocum 
donated  half  an  acre  for  the  schoolhouse  site.  The  lumber  was 
drawn  from  Winona,  Obadiah  Smith  erecting  the  building.  Dis- 
trict 46  was  organized  in  1869.  During  the  following  yea:r  a 
board  shanty  was  erected  on  the  southwest  corner  of  section  32. 
The  first  term  of  school  was  taught  in  that  building  by  Maggie 
Smith.  In  1874  a  frame  house  was  erected  on  the  same  site. 
James  Woodard  was  the  first  teacher  in  this  house.  District  73 
was  organized  in  1869.  The  first  building  was  a  cheap  struc- 
ture erected  on  the  southwest  corner  of  section  14.  Alice  French 
Avas  the  first  teacher.  In  1876  a  good  building  was  erected  on 
the  southeast  corner  of  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  22,  in 
which  Newell  Slocum  was  the  first  teacher.  District  82.  The 
first  school  in  this  district  was  taught  in  1867  by  Maggie  Smith 
in  a  house  erected  by  Thomas  Smith  in  the  northeast  quai'ter  of 
section  12.  After  three  weeks  a  frame  house  was  erected  on  the 
southeast  corner  of  section  1,  in  which  Addie  Fairbanks  was  the 
first  teacher.  District  123.  This  district  was  organized  and  a 
schoolhouse  erected  in  1893.  Olive  Savage  was  the  first  teacher. 
Nevada.  District  9.  In  1857  the  scholars  living  within  the 
present  limits  attended  a  school  taught  by  Osroe  Peterson  in  the 
home  of  Hans  Swenson.  School  was  taught  in  other  private 
houses  until  the  winter  of  1865-66,  when  a  log  schoolhouse  was 


built  on  the  northeast  corner  of  section  31,  the  money  being  raised 
by  subscription.  Afterward  a  tax  was  levied  and  the  money 
refunded.  Christiana  Goby  was  the  first  teacher  in  this  house. 
In  1882  a  frame  house  was  erected  a  few  rods  west  of  the  old 
site.  District  11.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was  held  in  a 
board  shanty  owned  by  James  Gerard,  located  in  section  21.  The 
next  term  was  taught  by  Belinda  Robinson  in  a  claim  shanty  in 
section  22.  The  first  schoolhouse  in  the  town  and  district  was 
built  in  1858,  on  the  northeast  corner  of  the  southeast  quarter  of 
section  28,  Martin  Hanson  having  given  one  acre  for  school  pur- 
poses. In  1872  a  new  house  was  erected  on  the  old  site.  The 
first  teacher  in  this  house  was  Nels  Kalkon.  District  10.  The 
first  school  in  this  district  was  taught  by  Sarah  Austin  in  1858, 
in  a  claim  shanty  belonging  to  Gregg  &  Austin.  In  1860  a  log 
house  was  erected  for  school  purposes  in  the  southeast  corner  of 
section  7.  Delang  Richardson  was  the  first  teacher.  Later  a 
frame  house  Avas  erected,  and  S.  Clow  was  the  first  teacher. 
District  87.  This  district  was  organized  in  1870  and  a  school- 
house  erected  the  following  year  in  the  southeast  quarter  of 
section  23.  IMary  Gregg  was  the  first  teacher.  District  104  was 
organized  in  1878  and  a  frame  house  erected  that  same  year,  in 
the  southwest  corner  of  section  3.  The  first  teacher  was  ]\Iinda 
H.  Ruland.  District  56.  A*  frame  schoolhouse  was  erected  in 
this  district  in  1865  and  the  first  school  was  taught  the  follow- 
ing year.  The  house  is  located  in  the  southwest  corner  of 
section  1. 

Sargeant.  District  !»1.  The  first  schoolhouse  built  in  the 
town  was  in  this  district,  in  1875,  in  the  northeast  corner  of 
section  15.  Jn  the  summer  of  that  year  Eliza  W.  Sargent  taught 
the  first  scliool.  A  Norwegian  school  was  started  in  the  same 
house,  with  Knud  Arhns  as  the  first  teacher.  The  schoolhouse 
is  located  in  the  southern  half  of  section  2.  District  111  was 
organized  in  1879.  A  schoolhouse  was  built  that  year  on  the 
northeast  quarter  of  section  26.  Ella  King  was  the  first  teacher. 
District  113  was  organized  in  1880,  and  a  schoolhouse  built  on 
!).  Tiie  first  school  was  taught 
The  srhoolhouse  in  this  district 
located  .just  over  tlic  line  in  sce- 
Tliis  is  tlie  village  school  of 
.'hoolhousc  in  this  disti'ict  is  lo- 
cated in  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  32. 

Dexter.  District  78.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was  the 
first  in  the  touii  of  Dexter,  and  was  taught  by  Mrs.  G.  \V.  Bowles, 
at  her  home  in  a  log  house  at  the  northeast  (juarter  of  section  33. 
in  1868.  A  sciiooliiouse  was  built  the  following  year  on  the 
southwest  corner  of  the  southwest  <|uarter  of  section  27.     Dis- 

the  s( 


st     (|U< 

irtcr  of 


by  T. 





t  107. 

was  (• 



ed  in 

ISSO.  ai: 

1(1  wa: 





III     town 





ct  114. 



trict  108  was  organized  in  1877.  The  schoolhouse  was  built  the 
same  year  on  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  36.  The  first 
teacher  was  Jennie  L.  Schryver.  District  106  was  organized  in 
1877,  and  a  schoolhouse  erected  in  1878  in  the  southwest  quarter 
of  section  29,  Jennie  Fairbanks  being  the  first  teacher.  District 
98  was  organized  in  1878  and  the  first  school  taught  that  year  in 
the  home  of  Nelson  Huntington,  by  his  daughter  Mary,  with  a 
single  pupil,  her  sister  Rose.  Later  the  territory  of  this  district 
was  attached  to  Dexter  village.  In  1877  the  district  was  set  apart 
and  a  schoolhouse  built  on  the  northeast  corner  of  the  northwest 
quarter  of  section  2.  Andrew  Quinn  and  Cora  Chadbourne  were 
two  of  the  earliest  teachers  in  this  building.  District  86.  Dexter 
village.  This  district  was  organized  in  1874.  The  first  school 
was  a  temporary  building,  put  up  that  year.  School  was  taught 
in  the  winter  of  187J:-75  by  Jesse  King.  In  1877  a  new  building 
was  erected.  At  present  there  is  a  modern  four-room  school,  well 
equipped  in  every  .respect.  District  121.  The  schoolhouse  is 
located  in  the  sovithwest  quarter  of  section  16.  This  district, 
according  to  William  Newbauer,  was  organized  February  4,  1889, 
and  a  schoolhouse  built  the  same  year  on  the  present  site.  The 
first  teacher  was  Mary  Siegel.  District  125.  The  pupils  of  this 
district  attend  school  in  a  schoolhouse  on  the  northwest  corner 
of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  11.  According  to  G.  B. 
Harvey  the  district  was  organized  about  1895,  and  the  school- 
house  erected  the  same  year.  Ethel  H.  Wilsie  was  the  first 
teacher.  District  129.  This  district  has  a  school  in  the  south- 
west quarter  of  section  5.  It  is  the  youngest  of  all  the  IMower 
county  school  districts,  and  was  organized  July  12.  1905,  under 
the  good  offices  of  W.  L.  Lewis.  D.  L.  Tanner,  F.  E.  Hambreeht, 
J.  Johnson  and  William  Christie.  A  schoolhouse  was  built  the 
same  year,  and  Anna  Hanson  was  the  first  teacher.  W.  M. 
Phillips  was  the  first  clerk. 

Marshall.  District  65  was  organized  in  1867.  The  first  term 
of  school  was  taught  in  Helga  Errickson's  house,  by  Rosella 
Bourgard.  The  school  was  built  in  the  southeast  quarter  of 
section  85.  In  1879  it  was  moved  to  the  northwest  quarter  of 
the  southwest  quarter  of  section  25.  Ida  Waite  was  the  first 
teacher  after  the  removal.  District  81  was  organized  about  the 
year  1876.  when  a  frame  house  was  erected  in  section  2.  School 
was  first  taught  in  1878  by  Ida  Waite.  This  is  the  village  school 
of  Elkton.  District  105  was  organized  in  1879  and  a  school- 
liouse  erected  in  the  northwest  corner  of  section  .84.  the  first 
school  being  taught  by  Annie  Christopherson.  District  108. 
This  district  was  organized  Se|)tember  20,  1879.  A  was 
erected  tiiat  fall  in  the  sontlieast  coimht  of  seetion  17,  and  the 
first  term  was  taught  by  Georgf  Kmery  in  tlie  winter  of  1879-80. 


District  120.  The  school  in  this  district  is  located  on  the  north- 
east corner  of  section  9.  According  to  C.  E.  Thompson  the  dis- 
trict was  organized  in  1888  and  the  schoolhouse  built  that  fall. 

Adams.  District  6.  This  district  was  organized  in  1858  and 
a  small  schoolhouse  was  erected  of  logs  and  covered  with  hay. 
The  building  was  located  in  section  29.  The  term  of  school  in 
this  house  was  taught  in  the  winter  of  1858-59  by  R.  M.  Rooney. 
The  house  was  burned  by  a  prairie  fire  the  following  summer. 
Another  log  house  was  erected  on  the  site  of  the  old  one,  and  in 
this  Mr.  Rooney  was  also  the  first  teacher.  This  building  was 
likewise  burned  and  a  good  substantial  frame  was  erected  one- 
half  mile  south  of  the  old  one  in  section  32.  The  first  teacher  in 
this  house  was  Nils  Nason.  District  7  was  organized  in  1858. 
A  schoolhouse  was  located  in  section  8.  The  house  is  now  located 
in  section  9.  District  8  is  the  village  school  of  Adams.  It  was 
organized  in  1858,  and  a  schoolhouse  was  erected  in  section  11  in 
1873.  At  present  there  is  a  four-room  graded  school.  District  71. 
This  district  was  organized  in  1871,  and  the  first  school  was  held 
the  same  year  at  the  house  of  John  Fagans,  Robert  Carter  being 
the  teacher.  In  1872  a  frame  schoolhouse  was  erected  on  section 
25.  The  first  teacher  in  this  house  was  Lizzie  Boding.  The  pres- 
ent building  is  in  section  26.  District  72  Avas  organized  in  1871 
and  the  first  schoolhouse  was  built  in  section  22.  Catherine  Mad- 
den taught  the  first  school.  The  school  is  now  located  in 
section  27. 

Pleasant  Valley.  The  first  school  in  this  township  was  taught 
by  Carolina  Hoag  in  the  summer  of  1858.  The  sessions  were 
held  in  a  small  cabin,  twelve  by  twelve,  and  eight  feet  high. 
This  house  stood  on  runners  and  during  winters  was  used  as  a 
preemption  shanty,  remaining  on  one  claim  long  enough  for  the 
occupant  to  "prove  up,"  and  then  being  hauled  by  an  ox  team  to 
another  claim.  In  siunmers  it  was  generally  stationed  on  sec- 
tions 11  or  12  and  devoted  to  school  purposes.  Later  it  was 
converted  into  a  wood  shed.  District  47.  In  the  winter  of 
I860,  before  the  organization  of  this  district,  a  school  was  taught 
Avithin  its  limits  in  the  house  of  John  Rowley.  The  first  teacher 
was  Alden  Douglas.  The  district  was  organized  in  1862.  A 
schoolhouse  was  built  the  following  season  on  the  northern  part 
of  section  29.  The  first  teacher  here  was  C.  D.  Douglas.  Dis- 
trict 48  was  organized  in  1863.  Two  early  terms  were  taught 
in  the  house  of  E.  B.  Blakelec  by  Alden  Douglas.  The  school- 
house  was  built  in  1864  in  the  southwest  part  of  section  15. 
Mary  Iloag  taught  the  first  school.  The  present  house  is  about 
half  a  mile  north  of  the  old  site.  District  51.  The  first  school 
in  this  district  was  taught  in  1861,  by  jMary  lloag,  in  Robert 
Reed's  milkhouse.     The  organization  was  in  1865,  and  a  building 


was  erected  in  1867,  in  the  southwest  corner  of  the  northwest 
quarter  of  section  8.  The  first  teacher  was  Alice  Sargent.  Dis- 
trict 62.  A  school  was  taught  in  Dan.  AVilliam's  house  in  this 
district  in  1865.  The  district  was  organized  March  30,  1867,  and 
the  schoolhouse  built  the  same  j^ear,  in  the  southeast  cjuarter  of 
section  11.  In  1909  a  new  schoolhouse  was  built  a  mile  south 
of  this  site.  District  75.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was 
taught  by  Artemisia  Way.  The  district  was  organized  in  1869 
and  a  frame  building  erected  in  section  32.  The  first  teacher 
was  Hattie  Hoppin.  District  94.  The  first  school  in  this  dis- 
trict was  erected  in  1874  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  35, 
but  was  afterward  moved  a  mile  west  to  where  it  now  stands. 
Alba  G.  Paddock  was  the  first  teacher. 

Grand  Meadow.  The  schools  in  this  township  are  located 
as  follows:  District  112.  northeast  quarter,  section  7;  District 
53,  southwest  quarter  of  section  ]0;  District  26,  northwest  quar- 
ter of  section  12;  District  21,  south  half  of  section  35;  District 
77,  village  of  Grand  Meadow,  section  22 ;  District  69,  southeast 
quarter  of  section  29.  District  20,  according  to  G.  J.  Gilbert- 
son,  was  organized  May  1,  1868,  with  A.  O.  Finhart  as  treasurer, 
0.  W.  Case  as  clerk  and  B.  F.  Langworthy  as  director.  A  new 
schoolhouse  was  built  in  1884,  replacing  the  one  erected  when 
the  district  was  organized.  Later  a  belfry  was  added  and  a 
fine  bell  purchased.  The  building  is  equipped  with  the  Smith 
heating  and  ventilating  system,  a  good  supply  of  slate  black- 
hoards  and  a  sanitary  water  fountain.  A  first  grade  teacher 
has  been  employed  for  the  past  ten  years,  and  the  school  is  doing 
excellent  work.  District  21,  according  to  C.  A.  Grimm,  waa 
organized  some  forty-three  years  ago.  The  records  have  all 
been  lost,  and  the  memory  of  the  old  inhabitants  is  vague  on  the 
subject.  District  53  is  also  one  of  the  old  districts  of  the  county. 
James  Joyce  has  interviewed  a  number  of  old  settlers  on  the 
subject,  among  them  being  Patrick  Conlon  and  wife,  who  came 
liere  in  1860,  and  according  to  the  information  which  he  has 
gathered,  there  was  a  sod  or  sod  and  log  schoolhouse  in  this 
district  in  the  earliest  times,  and  a  Miss  Anker  was  the  first 
teacher.  All  records  have  been  lost.  June  3,  1873,  a  half  acre 
in  the  southwest  corner  of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  9  was 
deeded  to  the  district,  and  in  1897  the  schoolhouse  was  moved 
from  that  location  to  the  present  site  on  the  southwest  corner  of 
the  southwest  quarter  of  section  10.  District  69,  according  to 
Fred  Dickens,  was  organized  in  1869,  and  a  house  built  that  year 
on  the  southeast  corner  of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  29. 
In  1879  it  was  moved  to  the  southwest  corner  of  the  Northeast 
quarter  of  section  29.  In  1890  a  new  schoolhouse  was  built  across 
the  street,  in  the  northwest  corner  of  the  southeast  quarter  of 


section  29.  The  first  teacher  in  the  district  was  Ella  Austin. 
Her  father,  Gus  Austin,  built  the  first  schoolhouse.  The  records 
of  the  early  days  in  the  district  has  not  been  kept.  District  77 
is  treated  at  length  in  the  history  of  the  village  of  Grand  Meadow. 

Clayton.  The  first  school  in  Clayton  town.ship  was  a  summer 
term  kept  at  the  house  of  W.  S.  Root  in  1872,  by  Mina  Hanna. 
District  74.  This  district  had  the  first  schoolhouse  in  the  town- 
ship. It  was  erected  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  28,  and 
the  first  teacher  was  Henrietta  Bevier.  The  house  is  now  located 
on  the  southeast  corner  of  section  28.  District  83.  A  schoolhouse 
was  erected  in  this  district  in  the  northwest  corner  of  section  32 
in  1876.  Miss  D.  K.  Lee  was  the  first  teacher  in  this  building. 
The  present  site  is  one-half  a  mile  north.  District  109.  The  first 
teacher  in  this  district  was  G.  G.  Dallen.  and  the  building  is 
located  in  the  south  half  of  section  11.  District  117.  The  school- 
house  in  this  district  is  in  the  west  half  of  section  25.  It  was 
built  in  March,  1885,  and  three  months'  school  held  before  it  was 
finished.  It  was  then  plastered  and  seats  piit  in,  so  that  school 
was  held  that  winter.  The  first  teacher  was  Delia  McDonnough. 
District  127.  The  pupils  in  this  district  attend  school  in  the 
northwest  quarter  of  section  8.  The  district  was  organized  Jan- 
uary 4,  1900,  and  Sarah  Seanlan  was  the  first  teacher. 

Lodi.  District  67.  The  school  in  this  district  was  the  first  in 
the  township,  and  was  built  in  1868  on  section  14,  the  first  teacher 
being  Nettie  Spencer.  This  house  was  burned  by  a  prairie  fire 
in  1871.  A  new  schoolhouse  was  erected  in  the  same  section  abotit 
80  rods  from  the  old  site.  Mary  Gregory  taught  the  first  term 
of  school  in  the  new  building.  The  modern  schoolhouse  now 
standing  is  equipped  with  the  only  school  hot  water  heating 
plant  in  the  county.  District  96  was  provided  with  a  schoolhouse 
in  1876,  located  on  section  29.  A  Miss  Haley  taught  the  first 
school.  Prior  to  this,  however,  a  school  had  been  held  at  the 
home  of  John  Hubbard  by  ]\Iaggie  Carr.  The  district  was  organ- 
ized in  1865  through  the  efforts  of  John  Hubbard,  who  gave  one- 
half  acre  of  ground  for  a  building  site.  District  80.  A  school 
was  erected  in  this  district  on  section  26  some  time  before  the 
organization  of  the  district  in  1877.  Etta  Bevier  was  the  first 
teacher.  In  1909  a  modern  building  was  erected  on  the  old  site. 
District  100  was  organized  in  1877  and  a  schoolhouse  built  oil  the 
northeast  cornc'r  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  7.  Ella 
Smith  was  the  first  teacher  in  the  house.  A  modern  building 
now  occupies  the  site.  District  99  is  the  village  school  of  Taopi 
and  was  organized  in  1878.  The  first  school  in  the  village  was 
laiuglit  in  the  winter  of  1877-78,  in  a  private  house.  In  1880  a 
frame  sclioolhouse  was  l)uilt  in  the  village,  the  first  teacher  therein 
being  Ida  Wells.     A  two-roomed  l)uilding  has  since  been  erected. 


Racine.  The  first  school  in  this  township  was  built  in  1856. 
Rev.  Thomas  J.  Lake  was  an  early  teacher.  Old  district  3.  which 
included  the  present  districts  35  and  36,  was  organized  July  7, 
1856.  The  schoolhouses  in  Racine  are  located  as  follows:  Dis- 
trict 30,  southwest  quarter  of  section  11 ;  District  31,  southeast 
quarter  of  section  7;  District  32,  southeast  quarter  of  section  19; 
District  33,  west  half  of  section  27 ;  District  34,  village  of  Racine ; 
District  36,  southeast  quarter  of  section  5 ;  District  64,  southeast 
quarter  of  section  6 ;  Di.strict  66,  south  half  of  section  34.  District 
30.  The  records  of  this  district  have  been  lost.  The  old  school- 
house  stood  on  the  northwest  corner  of  the  southwest  quarter  of 
section  11.  In  1892  a  new  house  was  built  on  the  southeast  cor- 
ner of  the  same  quarter.  The  first  teacher  in  the  new  building 
was  Jennie  Kelly.  For  this  information  the  publishers  are 
indebted  to  Aug.  Buekholz.  District  31,  like  so  many  of  the 
districts,  has  not  preserved  its  early  records.  According  to  H.  0. 
Lewis,  a  schoolhouse  was  built  in  section  7  in  1863  and  was  burned 
in  September,  1905.  It  was  rebuilt  the  same  fall  on  the  old  site. 
District  32  was  organized  in  1867.  William  Brown,  clerk  for  fif- 
teen years,  says:  "The  schoolhouse  was  built  in  1868  and  still 
stands  on  the  same  spot,  although  it  has  been  raised  and  shingled. 
The  early  records  were  burned  when  Henry  Schroeder's  house  was 
destroyed.  We  cannot  find  whether  school  was  taught  in  1868,  but 
we  think  not.  Alden  Douglas  taught  in  1869-70.  Frank  Glover, 
now  of  Racine,  taught  the  school  in  1871.  We  came  in  1868,  but 
lived  in  section  8,  Pleasant  Valley,  and  did  not  move  to  section  24 
until  1870."  District  33,  according  to  L.H.Eastman,  was  organ- 
ized about  1860,  and  the  schoolhouse  erected  the  same  year  on  the 
southwest  corner  of  the  south  sixty  of  the  northwest  quarter  of 
section  27.  Miss  Quigley  was  the  first  teacher.  In  1884  a  new 
schoolhouse  was  built  on  the  corner  of  the  north  half  of  the  south- 
west quarter  of  section  27.  District  34  is  treated  elsewhere.  Dis- 
trict 36,  according  to  John  Hovda  and  Arne  Anderson,  Avas  organ- 
ized in  1857  and  Mrs.  Henry  Moore  was  the  first  teacher,  the  board 
consisting  of  Ola  Finhart,  Sr.,  Hans  Anderson  and  a  IMr.  Conkins. 
For  two  years  school  was  taught  in  a  farm  house.  In  1859  a  log 
schoolhouse  was  built  on  the  northwest  corner  of  the  northeast 
quarter  of  section  5,  once  Frankford,  now  Racine.  A  Miss  Connor 
was  the  first  teacher  in  this  schoolhouse.  This  was  truly  a  pioneer 
school,  the  seats  being  hewn  out  of  logs.  The  funds  were  derived 
from  local  subscription.  Until  1883  district  36  Avas  three  miles 
square.  In  that  year  the  district  was  divided  and  District  64  set 
off.  The  school  in  section  36  stands  on  the  southeast  corner  of 
section  5.  District  64  was  a  part  of  District  36,  as  above.  After 
the  division  in  1883  a  schoolhouse  was  erected  in  section  6  in  1884, 
and  here  school  has  since  been  held.     District  66  was  organized  in 


1869  and  the  sehoolhouse  was  built  the  same  year  in  the  southwest 
quarter  of  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  34.  The  first  teacher 
was  Mrs.  S.  B.  Gove.  In  1900  the  sehoolhouse  was  rebuilt  on  the 
same  site. 

Frankford.  District  16.  This  district  was  originally  organ- 
ized as  District  1  and  Avas  the  first  district  in  the  county.  The 
first  school  taught  in  Frankford  township  was  in  a  room  over 
Francis  Tebout's  store  in  the  village  of  Frankford  in  1856.  Miss 
Cunningham  was  the  first  teacher.  The  first  sehoolhouse  built  in 
this  district  was  in  1867.  in  section  24.  It  was  built  of  stone. 
The  first  teacher  was  N.  W.  Boyes.  District  17.  The  first  per- 
manent school  in  this  district  was  built  in  1873,  on  section  36,  and 
G.  A.  Elder  taught  the  first  school  in  this  building.  Prior  to  this 
time  a  temporary  board  shanty  12x14,  costing  $25,  was  used.  The 
first  teacher  was  Mrs.  Lamberton,  who  taught  three  months  at 
$25  a  month.  District  19.  The  first  school  in  this  district  Avas 
taught  by  AV.  F.  Grummings,  in  1857,  in  a  log  house  built  by 
Bothomel  Canady,  on  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  22.     In 

1870  the  district  erected  a  frame  building  on  the  northeast  corner 
of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  21.  District  35.  The  first 
sehoolhouse  in  this  district  was  erected  of  logs  in  1856,  and  was 
located  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  sec- 
tion 11.  The  first  teacher  was  either  Frank  Johnson  or  John  Fell. 
In  1877  the  log  house  was  torn  down  and  a  new  building  erected. 
District  84.  The  first  sehoolhouse  in  this  district  was  erected  in 
1877  in  the  northwest  corner  of  section  34.  The  first  teacher  was 
Lyda  Goodsell.  District  97.  This  district  was  organized  in  1876. 
The  first  teacher  Avas  A.  S.  Woodworth.  The  house  is  located  in 
the  southeast  quarter  of  section  31. 

Bennington.  District  3.  The  first  school  in  this  toAvnship  Avas 
taught  by  Mary  IMcKinney.  A  sehoolhouse  Avas  erected  about  1860 
in  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  30.  A  new  modern  building 
occupies  the  old  site.  District  85.  A  sehoolhouse  Avas  built  in  this 
district  in  1874  and  the  first  teacher  Avas  Clai'a  Mehurin.  District 
18.  The  sehoolhouse  in  this  district  Avas  erected  in  1875  on  the 
southeast  corner  of  the  southAvest  quarter  of  section  12.  The 
sehoolhouse  is  noAV  located  one-half  mile  Avest  of  the  old  site. 
District  92.  The  sehoolhouse  in  this  district  was  built  in  1875 
on  the  southAvest  quarter  of  section  25.  The  first  teacher  Avas 
Katie  ^lehurin.  District  95.  The  sehoolhouse  in  this  district  A\'as 
built  in  1876,  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  8.  The  house  is 
on  the  northAvest  corner  of  section  9.  District  102.  A  school- 
house  was  erected  in  1877  on  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  34. 
The  first  teacher  Avas  N.  0.  BorsAvold.  District  118.  The  school 
in  this  district  is  located  in  the  Avest  half  of  section  17. 

Le  Roy.     District   4.     The   early  history   of  this  district   has 


already  beon  related.  In  1871  the  present  site  was  selected  and  a 
building  erected  on  the  northeast  corner  of  the  northwest  quar- 
ter of  section  31.  'Around  the  schoolhouse  in  this  district  there 
still  cling  fond  recollections  of  pioneer  days.  Here  the  Metho- 
dist Episcopal  class  was  organized,  and  here  the  first  revival 
meeting  was  held  by  Rev.  Norton.  Then  there  were  the  debating 
society  gatherings  and  many  other  public  meetings  of  much 
importance  in  the  social  and  political  life  of  the  early  days. 
District  1  had  its  first  school  within  its  present  limits  at  the 
home  of  Henry  Meyers  in  the  summer  of  1866.  The  school  was 
taught  by  Adaline  Gates.  The  next  season  Emma  Klapper 
taught  in  the  same  house.  In  the  summer  of  1867  a  stone  school- 
house  was  erected  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  1.  In 
this  building  Emma  Peters  taught  the  first  term  in  the  summer 
of  1868.  A  new  modern  building  has  been  erected  one-half  mile 
west.  District  59.  This  district  at  an  early  date  was  provided 
with  a  school,  which  was  kept  in  the  building  of  Elihu  Morse, 
built  for  a  granary.  The  first  teacher  was  Syreua  Lytle.  In 
1868  the  district  erected  a  frame  schoolhouse  on  the  northeast 
corner  of  section  7,  in  which  A.  M.  Maxfield  taught  the  first 
school.  In  the  fall  of  1882  this  building  was  moved  to  the  south- 
west quarter  of  section  6.  This  district  now  has  a  beautiful 
modern  building.  District  52.  The  first  school  in  this  district 
was  taught  by  Mrs.  J.  T.  Williams  in  the  summer  of  1863  at 
J.  M.  Morse's  house.  That  fall  a  house  was  built  on  the  south- 
east quarter  of  section  18,  in  which  John  T.  Williams  was  the 
first  teacher.  In  1869  a  grout  or  concrete  school  building  was 
erected  on  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  20,  in  which  Julia 
Crittenden  was  the  first  teacher.  A  modern  building  now  occu- 
pies the  site.  District  2.  This  district  was  provided  with  its 
first  schoolhouse  in  1861.  It  was  located  on  the  northwest 
quarter  of  section  9.  The  first  teacher  here  was  Flora  Raynolds. 
In  1871  a  new  frame  building  was  erected  on  the  northeast  quar- 
ter of  section  9.  James  Pierce  taught  the  first  term  of  school  in 
this  house.  The  children  from  this  district  are  now  transported 
to  the  village  school  of  Le  Roy.  District  79.  This  district  had 
its  first  school  in  a  house  belonging  to  Charles  jMcNeal,  located 
on  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  22.  This  was  in  1870.  Later 
the  district  purchased  a  log  house  from  James  Sample,  together 
Avith  an  acre  of  land,  on  the  northeast  quarter  of  section  22.  This 
was  used  a  short  time,  after  which  a  frame  building  was  erected. 
A  modern  building  now  occupies  the  site.  District  5,  Le  Roy 
village.  The  first  school  in  this  district  was  held  in  a  house  be- 
longing to  Daniel  Caswell,  in  the  sunnner  of  1857.  That  fall  a 
stone  schoolhouse  was  built  in  Die  old  villiige  of  Le  Roy.  Tliis 
building  "served  as  schoolhouse,   I'liiiicli    and    |)iililii'   hall.     AI'tiT 


the  advent  of  the  railroad  and  the  building  up  of  the  new  village 
of  Le  Roy  this  was  sold  to  the  Lutheran  church  organization  and 
a  new  schoolhouse  was  erected.  Le  Roy  now  has  a  fine  high 
school  building.  District  63.  The  first  school  in  this  district 
was  taught  in  1857  by  Lydia  Bonestell,  in  a  small  frame  house, 
located  in  the  southwest  quarter  of  section  36.  Soon  afterward 
a  small  building  was  moved  from  Fillmore  county  and  located 
on  section  35.  Serena  Lytle  and  Mary  Prentice  were  early  teach- 
ers in  this  house.  Later  a  frame  building  was  provided  near  the 
same  site,  on  the  southeast  corner  of  the  southwest  quarter  of 
section  26. 

The  first  superintendent  of  schools  of  i\Iower  county  was  J.  B. 
Tollman.  He  was  appointed  by  the  county  commissioners,  Jan- 
uary 5,  1864,  at  an  annual  salary  of  $100,  to  serve  one  year,  from 
September  1,  1864.  He  served  until  1867.  Following  him  the 
superintendents  have  been :  Sherman  Page,  1867-69 ;  0.  T.  Otis, 
1869-70;  A.  S.  Pike,  1870;  J.  T.  Williams,  1870-72;  A.  A.  Har- 
wood,  1872-74;  E.  F.  Morgan,  1874-75;  N.  M.  Holbrook,  1875-77; 
A.  H.  Tuttle,  1877-81;  C.  D.  Belden,  1881-90;  Gertrude  Ellis, 
1890-1900:  Fannv  Gies.  1900-07;  Grace  B.  Sherwood.  1907. 



First  Marriage — Hunting  and  Trapping— -Early  Days  in  Cedar 
City  —  Pioneers    of    Frankf ord  —  Frontier    Experiences    by- 
Jacob  S.  Decker — Independence  Celebration — Early  Days  in 
Lansing  by  0.  J.  Rhoades. 

To  some  historians  cold  facts  and  exact  dates  alone  are  in- 
teresting. Others  study  the  great  underlying  causes  of  the 
world's  movements,  and  are  interested  in  detailed  events  only 
as  they  constitute  a  visible  effect  of  these  eternal  causes.  But  to 
tlie  reader  of  local  history  nothing  is  so  interesting  as  the  remi- 
niscences of  the  old  settlers,  in  which  real  actors  in  the  stirring 
adventures  of  frontier  days  relate  for  the  benefit  of  posterity 
llioso  stories  and  anecdotes  that  form  so  intimate  a  jKU-t  of  the 
life  of  the  pioneer,  but  which  liiid  no  ))iacc  in  wi-itlen  records. 
In  preparing  the  "Hi.story  of  .Mower  County"  it  has  been  the 
aim  to  gather  as  many  ol'  llusc  I'cminiscences  as  possible,  and 
tliey  are  here  presented  for  the  perusal  of  the  present  and  future 
generations,  that  they  may  learn  here  the  sunshine  and  shadows 
ill  tlie  lives  of  those  wlio  l)l;izc(l  1li(>  trail  for  civilization  to  follow. 



The  first  mari'iage  in  Mower  county  was  that  of  Caleb  Stoek 
and  Mary  Watkins,  Avigust  24,  1856.  The  golden  anniversary 
of  this  event  was  celebrated  in  Austin,  August  24,  1906,  and  on 
that  occasion  was  read  an  address  prepared  by  Mr.  Stock.  The 
address,  in  part,  Avas  as  folloAvs :  In  i\Iay,  1856,  a  company  was 
getting  ready  to  go  to  IMinnesota,  and  among  them  were  my 
friends  from  Burlington,  AVis..  conspicuous  among  them  being 
Mary  Watkins.  The  AYatkins  family,  father  and  mother,  five 
boys  and  three  girls,  were  starting  then  to  Mower  county,  Minne- 
sota, overland  with  prairie  schooners.  I  took  the  railroad  to 
the  Mississippi,  then  the  steamboat  to  Brownville,  then  the  stage 
to  Elliota  and  Frankford,  and  then  on  foot  over  the  prairie  to 
Austin.  "VYe  crossed  Dobbin's  creek  and  the  Cedar  river  and 
found  Austin,  only  a  few  log  houses  and  a  store,  Yates  &  Lewis', 
with  no  hotel.  I  took  my  first  meal  with  Father  Brown,  who 
was  living  in  a  tent  and  a  Avagon.  This  was  early  in  June,  1856. 
Mv.  Lewis  showed  me  around  and  took  me  down  to  see  friends, 
Phelps  and  Chandler,  who  were  boarding  with  Uncle  Eben 
JMerry.  Inquiring  for  the  friends  who  were  coming  by  schooner, 
I  learned  that  they  had  not  arrived.  Soon,  however,  we  heard 
that  the  caravan  was  in  camp  on  Rose  creek.  The  next  morn- 
ing after,  we  surprised  them  by  an  early  call.  They  were  glad 
to  find  a  haven  of  rest  after  six  weeks,  with  ox  team  over  wild 
prairies,  crossing  creeks  and  rivers  without  bridges.  There  were 
tvrenty-seveu  in  the  company.  Their  hotel  had  been  their  camp- 
i;]g  ground,  and  their  bill  of  fare  their  own  cooking  by  the  camp 
fires.  We  all  crossed  the  Cedar  river  at  Tiff's  ford,  and  here 
we  built  our  first  log  house.  There  were  no  shingles  in  the 
country  and  we  had  hard  work  to  find  boards  for  our  roof.  We 
found  some  at  Otranto,  Iowa.  We  could  get  no  lime  to  plaster 
with,  but  our  house  was  up,  and  the  next  move  was  to  get  a  wife. 
I  went  to  Austin  to  find  a  minister,  but  the  one  who  had  been 
there  was  gone.  This  fact  was  a  great  setback  to  me.  I  learned 
there  was  a  justice  of  the  peace  in  town,  'Squire  Smith.  I  found 
him  and  told  him  my  business.  He  thought  he  could  do  the  job 
correctly.  The  day  was  settled,  Augvist  24,  1856,  and  'Squire 
Smith  tied  the  loiot  so  tight  it  was  never  broken.  Father  Wat- 
kins  settled  on  the  farm  now  owned  by  David  Watkins.  Caleb 
Stock  and  John  PJielps  erected  a  saw  mill  at  Cedar  City  in  1856, 
and  in  1857  Ave  added  a  run  of  burrs  to  grind  Avheat  and  corn. 

In  1856  the  AvintiT  Avas  the  most  severe  I  can  remember.  In 
1856  and  the  early  ])art  of  1857,  times  were  good  but  money 
failed,  and  the  iHttcr  part  of  1857  it  Avas  hard  to  get  it  at  from 
25  to   40   pel-   cent    interest.      The   crop   of   1857   Avas   a    failure. 


Scarcely  any  wheat  was  raised,  and  the  corn  was  frost-bitten. 
Supplies  came  mostly  from  West  Union  and  Auburn,  Iowa,  where 
Ave  secured  our  first  stock  for  housekeeping.  We  brought  the 
outfit  with  two  ox  teams  over  the  prairies  and  through  the 
streams.  In  1858,  the  spring  and  most  of  the  summer  were  very 
wet,  and  in  August  our  mill  Avas  washed  down  the  river.  Pro- 
visions were  very  scarce.  Streams  were  high,  and  we  could  not 
get  out  for  supplies.  We  were  nearly  destitute.  I  remember 
well  Avheu  we  started  with  five  teams  for  flour  and  corn  meal. 
Those  who  were  to  share  in  the  supplies  left  their  bags  with  old 
Mr.  Brown  at  the  store.  He  numbered  them  and  arranged 
them  in  order  to  be  filled  when  the  goods  came.  We  had  to  go 
nearly  to  Mississippi  for  our  goods,  and  some  families  lived  on 
little  but  fish  until  we  returned.  There  were  a  few  Indians  about 
during  our  first  years,  and  my  wife  was  very  much  alarmed 
lest  they  should  take  away  our  little  babe,  Ella. 

Our  early  markets  were  LaCrosse  and  McGregor.  We  had  to 
pay  $1  a  bushel  for  potatoes,  oats,  corn  or  Avheat.  The  first 
wheat  Avo  sold  we  drcAV  to  the  ]\Iississippi  and  sold  for  fifty  cents 
per  bushel.  Eggs  brought  four  cents  a  dozen,  dressed  pork  .$2.50 
per  hundred  in  ]\Ic6regor.  Cows  Avere  worth  $10  to  $20  each. 
Men's  AA-ages  Avere  from  fifty  cents  to  $1  a  day.  Money  still 
brought  25  per  cent  interest  in  1858-59. 

But  those  pioneer  days  have  passed  and  the  ox  cart  is  sup- 
planted by  more  modern  vehicles.  The  market  of  the  world  is 
at  the  end  of  our  telephone.  We  have  battled  Avith  fate  and 
with  the  elements  and  avc  noAV  enjoy  the  moniunents  that  our 
struggles  have  builded. 


Tlie  folloAving  i'l'oiu  tlic  pen  of  S.  D.  ^lead,  Avhile  difl:'ering 
from  generally  accepted  historical  accounts,  is  nevertheless  in- 
teresting as  coming  in  evident  sincerity  from  one  Avho  claimed 
to  have  visited  the  present  site  of  Austin  in  1853.  The  "Austin 
Nickles"  spoken  of  therein  is  evidently  the  Austin  Nichols  Avho 
Avas  the  first  settler  on  the  present  townsite  of  Austin. 

'The  first  Avintc  innii  tliat  came  to  Aiistin  was  Austin  Nickles, 
wlio  <'niii('  as  a  Imiitcr  in  1lii'  fall  of  1852  from  his  home  in  Clay- 
ton county.  Towa.  'I'lie  next  fall,  1853.  he  came  back  to  this 
locality,  and  1  caiuc  with  him.  T  Avas  then  fourteen  years  old. 
Nickles  sflecti-d  a  claiui  enihracing  a  part  of  Avhere  Austin  now 
stands.  Thai  a\  inter  we  look  nine  ])uft"alo  skins  and  many  deer, 
mink,  otter  and  hcavei',  but  F  do  not  knoAv  hoAV  many.  I  do 
remember  that  Avhat  T  killed  Nickles  gave  me,  and  I  sold  them 
Avhen  T  reached  home  for  $190  in  gold.     I  got  one  elk  near  Avhere 


the  Mihvaukee  station  now  stands  that  measured  nine  feet  from 
tip  to  tip.  I  have  hunted  some  in  my  life,  but  I  was  never  in 
a  place  where  the  game  was  so  plentiful  and  where  such  a  great 
variety  was  to  be  found.  At  that  time  we  could  get  out  and 
kill  a  deer  in  an  hour  any  tin\e  in  the  morning  or  evening,  and 
we  did  kill  all  that  we  wanted.  Prairie  chickens  were  plenty, 
and  geese  and  ducks  could  be  found  in  any  place  on  the  river. 
Mink,  otter  and  beaver  were  plenty,  with  now  and  then  a 
panther,  but  the  latter  were  scarce.  Prairie  wolves  were  every- 

"The  next  year  (1854)  Nickles  sold  his  claim  and  went  to 
Blue  Earth.  The  next  year  (1855)  my  step-father  (Horace  Sil- 
ver) with  four  other  families  moved  to  Austin.  Robert  Autis, 
Lym.  Gifford,  Wilson  King  and  the  widow  Lockwood,  each  with 
their  families,  comprised  the  company,  but  the  latter  did  not 
settle  here.  The  rest  took  claims  along  Turtle  creek,  Autis  and 
King  near  the  mouth,  Gitford  about  due  south  of  the  present  fair 
grounds,  and  my  step-father,  Horace  Silver,  took  his  claim 
farther  up  the  creek,  near  the  large  boiling  spring  on  the  west 
side.  My  step-father  worked  for  Chauncey  Leverich  that  sum- 
mer in  a  saw  mill  which  stood  about  ten  rods  down  the  river  from 
wliere  the  grist  mill  now  stands,  and  on  the  same  side  of  the 

"My  step-father  owned  oxen,  as  did  also  Autis,  and  with  these 
I  helped  break  the  first  ground  ever  broken  in  or  near  Austin, 
O.  "W.  Shaw's  residence  stands  on  the  east  side  of  the  first 
twenty  acres  of  land  ever  broken  in  Austin.  There  was  con- 
siderable heavy  timber  along  the  Cedar,  and  a  little  south  of 
where  the  packing  liouse  now  stands  there  was  a  maple  sugar 
camp  where  the  Indians  made  sugar.  The  Sioux  Indians  Jmd 
their  camp  on  the  ])ank  in  front  of  the  0.  W.  Shaw  residence, 
a  little  to  the  south.  In  the  winter  of  1855  and  1856  there  Avere 
about  200  Sioux  Indians  wintered  on  the  bottom  lands  in  back 
of  the  Gibson  hotel.  There  was  heavy  tiniber  there  then.  The 
Indians  and  the  whites  were  always  friendly." 


In  regard  to  early  d^iys  in  Slower  '•ounty,  my  wife  and  I 
drove  from  Burlington,  Racine  county,  Wis.,  with  a  team  of 
liorses,  to  find  a  home  in  the  territory  of  ^linnesota.  "We  arrived 
at  David  Chandler's  farm,  October  13,  1856.  In  the  spring  of 
that  year  I  was  married  to  Hannah  Phelps,  the  daughter  of 
-Jerimiah  and  Margarette  Phelps,  who  moved  to  iMower  county, 
from  Burlington,  Wis.,  with  tlie  following  families:  Thomas  Bor- 
mella,  George  and  AVilliam  Phelps,  Diadamy  and  ]\Iary  Phelps 


and  John  "Watkins  and  family,  composed  of  eight  sons  and 
daughters.  John  Phelps  had  preceded  them  and  was  on  the 
ground  with  E.  Merry  and  family,  David  and  John  Chandler, 
John  Osborne  and  family,  Caleb  Stock  and  a  Mr.  Smith.  The 
two  last  named  with  John  Phelps  composed  the  mill  company. 
Next  came  Welcome  Osborne  and  his  family,  also  Joshua  Welch 
and  Abijah  Pinkham  with  their  families.  These  with  a  Mr. 
McKee  and  Means  comprised  the  neighborhood  settlement  in 
the  winter  of  1856-57.  In  the  spring  came  Welcome  Chandler 
and  Andrew  Gemmel  and  tlioir  families.  Before  my  wife  and  I 
arrived,  Caleb  Stock  and  Mary  Watkins  had  spent  their  honey- 
moon. After  their  marriage  John  Phelps  went  back  to  Racine 
county,  AVisconsin,  and  tliere  married  a  INIiss  Lyon,  which  made 
another  very  valuable  addition  to  our  young  but  growing  society. 
Then  Timothy  Gosley  won  the  affections  of  Ann  Watkins.  These 
three  were  the  first  on  the  list  of  marriages  of  Cedar  City. 
Cedar  City  mill  Avas  pushed  to  completion  and  began  grinding 
in  due  time.  But  alas,  the  June  freshet  took  the  pioneer  mill 
down  with  its  rapid  current  and  our  young  city  grew  no  more 
and  like  many  western  towns  ceased  to  live. 

Several  houses  were  erected  by  these  families.  The  first 
covering  for  houses  were  indeed  novel,  hay,  bark,  rails  and  sod. 
Abraham  Dickerson  and  father  built  the  first  good  frame 
liouse  and  barn  in  the  community.  A  school  house  was  built  on 
land  owned  by  Caleb  Stock.  The  logs  and  other  timber  were 
donated  by  the  settlers,  and  it  was  built  in  the  spring  of  1857. 
Diadamy  Phelps  was  the  first  teacher;  she  afterward  married 
John  B.  Niles,  who  owned  Tefts  mill  property.  Stephen  and 
David  Chandler,  Solomon  Custer,  and  John  and  Evan  Watkins 
also  married  early  school  teachers  of  Cedar  City. 

The  earliest  birth,  I  think,  was  a  son  born  to  ]\Ir.  and  Mrs. 
«Tohn  Osborne.  The  second,  a  daughter  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Alfred 
Cressey,  and  perhaps  the  third  to  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Caleb  Stock. 

Perhaps  it  may  be  of  interest  to  record  the  style  of  preparing 
breadstuff  in  those  early  times  —  no  mills,  no  railroads  and 
pretty  nearly  no  food  at  times.  Personally,  I  went  to  Austin 
three  times,  with  money  in  my  pocket,  to  buy  flour,  and  finally 
succeeded  in  getting  eleven  pounds  of  flour  of  old  Mr.  Brown  of 
the  Log  Store.  When  corn  was  nearing  maturity  the  settlers 
took  tin  pans  and  punched  holes  through  the  bottom,  and  upon 
these  circular  graters  managed  to  get  enough  corn  grated  to 
furnisli  bread  Un-  a  time  till  they  could  do  better.  Welcome 
Chandler  hollowed  out  a  Iol''.  i)ut  it  in  the  ground,  attached  a 
sweep  similar  to  a  well  swcc])  and  by  means  of  a  pounder,  work- 
ing like  a  druggist  "s  nioi'tjM-,  succeeded  in  pounding  out  corn, 
wbicli    irood    Sistei-    ( 'Imiullei-    iiiiide    into    a    first-rate    "Johnny 


cake."  Others  resorted  to  their  coffee  mills  aud  ground  corn  in 

The  settlement  saw  close  times  financially  as  the  days  one  by 
one  rolled  away.  Money  was  hard  to  obtain,  and  the  money 
loaners  often  charged  as  high  as  three  or  four  per  cent  a  month 
for  loans  on  the  very  best  of  security. 

Among  the  first  of  the  good  men  to  preach  the  gospel  were 
Eevs.  Beach  and  Loomis.  The  traveling  peachers  of  that  time 
Avere  Revs.  Mapes  and  J.  L.  Dyer,  of  the  Methodist  denomination. 
Rev.  Dyer  held  a  "protracted  meeting"  in  the  log  school  house 
which  his  own  hands  helped  to  make.  He  had  a  voice  which 
could  be  readily  heard  a  half  mile  away.  Most  of  the  neighbor- 
hood were  converted  and  a  grand  reformation  followed.  I  did 
not  like  him,  he  was  too  rough ;  a  sample  of  his  talk,  by  way 
of  introduction  to  me,  was:  "You  are  going  to  hell,  ain't  you?" 
However,  I  attended  his  meetings  afterward,  and  now  honor 
him  for  his  work's  sake.  In  those  early  times  we  were  building 
and  found  it  best  to  use  oxen  and  carts  for  drawing  logs,  etc. 
One  night  I  took  my  young  wife  and  babe  on  one  of  these  rude 
carts  and  went  to  meeting.  On  going  home  we  had  to  cross  the 
creek,  and  my  wife  with  her  babe  in  her  arms  slipped  off  the 
cart,  but  she  held  on  to  the  babe  with  one  hand  and  to  the  cart 
with  the  other,  the  oxen  drawing  her  and  the  infant  to  the  shore. 

I  can  testify  to  the  good,  honest  work  of  Brother  John  L. 
Dyer,  the  pioneer  preacher.  God  honored  him  by  his  brethren 
of  a  frontier  conference  sending  him  as  a  delegate  to  the  general 
conference.  I  joined  afterwards  under  another  preacher  in 

Such  are  a  few  of  the  notes  in  early  days.  Jeremiah 
and  M.  Phelps  had  four  sons  in  the  Civil  war.  Mr.  AVatkins  two, 
Essler  two  and  Chandler  one.  So  I  think  Cedar  City  and  her 
people  have  done  something  for  God  and  our  country  worthy  a 
place  in  the  history  of  Mower  county. — Alfred  Cressy. 


]\Iy  father,  James  B.  Glover,  Avith  his  family  of  four  children, 
three  daughters  and  one  son,  moved  to  the  then  far  "West,  from 
Skancatels,  Onondaga  county,  N.  Y.,  arriving  at  Frankford 
Minn..  June,  1856.  There  were  but  few  houses  to  be  seen  here 
at  that  time,  but  new  arrivals  were  quite  frequent  and  houses 
went  up  as  if  touched  by  magic  hand.  AYhere  in  early  morning 
would  be  a  bare  clearing  at  nightfall  the  gleam  of  a  lighted 
candle  could  l)e  seen  from  the  windows  of  some  rude  yet  cosy 
cabin  home,  showing  the  progress  of  a  single  day. 

The  first  church  in  iMower  county  was  built  here  tlie  Jiext 


year,  the  principals  in  the  work  being  Elders  Reeves  and  Wal- 
dron.  The  following  Avinter  it  was  formally  dedicated  as  a  house 
of  worship.  About  the  same  time  Frank  Teabout  built  the  first 
public  hall.  This  was  24x60  feet.  It  was  used  that  Christmas 
day  and  evening  for  a  ball,  over  100  couples  being  present.  Mrs. 
Heidel,  an  aunt  of  the  proprietor,  and  Henry  Metzgar  provided 
the  bountiful  supper  for  the  gay  and  happy  company. 

The  company  was  composed  of  all  classes,  from  Fillmore  and 
i\rower  counties.  Goodly  numbers  came  from  Austin  and  Chat- 
field.  The  music  was  furnished  by  our  own  home  pioneer  band, 
the  greater  part  of  Avhom  were  married  men  living  near  here, 
George  Hunt,  Samuel  ]Metcalf,  Hazard  Titus  and  Gideon  Sherman 
being  among  the  number  who  constituted  this  band. 

We  had  a  good  and  large  school  at  this  point  that  winter. 
It  numbered  about  seventy  pupils.  Professor  Hotehkiss,  of  Ober- 
lin,  Ohio,  was  the  teacher,  with  myself  as  his  assistant.  At  that 
time  we  had  the  county  seat  at  this  place  and  felt  quite  im- 
portant. But  the  county  seat  honors  were  taken  away  from  us, 
and  our  dreams  were  not  realized. — Mrs.  Matilda  Lamb. 


At  the  time  of  my  arrival  in  Minnesota,  and  settlement  east 
of  Austin,  in  1856,  there  were  but  two  stores  in  Austin.  J.  B. 
Yates  and  V.  P.  Lewis  were  the  proprietors  of  one  and  A.  B. 
Vaughan  of  the  other.  One  was  located  on  the  corner  of  Mill 
and  Chatham  streets  and  tlie  other  was  south  of  where  J.  F. 
Fairbanks  now  has  his  warehouse.  A.  B.  Vaughan  was  post- 
master. Mr.  Day  had  a  blacksmith  shop  built  of  logs  on  the 
corner  of  Main  and  Water  streets.  Chauncey  Leverieh,  com- 
monly called  "Chance,"  liad  a  saw  mill  located  about  where 
A.  S.  Campbell's  mill  is  now  standing.  George  H.  Beemis  had 
a  shoe  store  on  the  corner  of  Chatham  and  ]\Iill  streets.  Frank 
Blank  had  a  shingle  machine  located  where  the  electric  light 
and  pumping  station  is  now  located.  There  was  a  log  hotel 
located  on  Water  street,  between  Franklin  and  Chatham  streets. 
At  the  time  T  ai'i-ivcd  there  were  no  clnirches  or  schoolhouses. 

Til  1h('  moiiUi  of  June,  on  a  beautiful  Sunday  morning,  we 
lieard  the  sermon  in  Austin  preached  by  a  ^Methodist  min- 
ister iiauicd  Erastus  Mapcs.  Tlic  meeting  Avas  held  in  a  frame 
house  which  I\lr.  Levciidi  was  l)uilding  for  a  hotel.  In  August, 
Rev.  Stephen  Cook  arrived  in  vVustin  from  01)erlin,  Oiiio,  with 
a  commission  from  tlie  American  Home  Missionary  Society  to 
organize  a  Congregational  eluirch.  He  held  meetings  in  private 
houses  nntj]   Avinter.     Ijate  tliat   fall   the  town  people  erected  a 


building  called  "Headquarters,"  foi-  a  store  and  mccliii>;'  place, 
and  for  day  school  and  Sunday  school. 

The  second  trip  I  made  from  home  after  arriving  in  Austin 
was  to  "Winona  with  two  yoke  of  oxen  for  lumber  for  this  "Head- 
quarters" building.  I  arrived  home  October  34  and  found  that 
the  prairie  fires  had  sAvept  the  whole  county  in  my  absence. 

During  the  summer  of  1856  I  joined  ox  teams  with  one  of  my 
neighbors  and  broke  about  fifteen  acres,  on  Avhieli  I  raised  some 
buckwheat.  In  December,  John  "Willson,  one  of  my  neighbors, 
joined  teams  with  me,  took  my  wood-shod  sled  and  started  Avith 
my  buckwheat  for  Preston,  Fillmore  county.  Arriving  at  Carri- 
mona,  we  found  a  grist  mill  and  exchanged  the  buckwheat  for 
flour.  "\Ve  obtained  wheat  flour,  corn  meal  and  shorts,  and  started 
for  home.  Ours  was  the  last  team  to  cross  the  prairie  between 
Frankford  and  Austin  that  winter.  The  road  between  Austin 
and  High  Forest  and  thence  to  ^\"inoua  was  kept  open  all  winter. 
The  county  seat  Avas  then  at  Frankford. 

In  the  spring  of  1857,  I  sold  my  two  yoke  of  oxen  and  took 
up  a  note  I  had  given  to  pre-empt  my  land.  Consequently  I  had 
no  team.  I  raised  corn  enough  that  season  to  trade  for  a  yoke 
of  oxen  with  John  Phelps.  In  the  summer  of  1857  I  exchanged 
work  with  mj"-  neighbors  and  had  sixteen  acres  broken.  In  the 
winter  of  1857-58  I  cut  and  split  oak  rails  enough  to  exchange 
with  George  N.  Coukey  for  fourteen  bushels  of  seed  wheat.  T 
sowed  the  wheat  in  the  spring  of  1858.  In  the  fall  I  cradled  and 
bound,  threshed  and  cleaned,  and  thus  secured  seven  bushels  of 
wheat  all  told.  In  the  spring  of  1859  I  sowed  that  seven  bushels 
and  never  raised  better  wheat.  That  same  spring  a  party  con- 
sisting of  James  T.  Sargent,  Hugo  ]\Iills,  John  Whalasky,  "Will- 
iam Baker  and  myself  went  to  Ilesper,  a  Quaker  settlement  in 
Iowa,  and  secured  flour,  corn  meal  and  middlings.  In  the  fall 
of  1860  I  went  to  Mitchell  county,  Iowa,  for  flour.  This  time  I 
took  wheat  of  my  own  raising.  That  same  fall  I  exchanged  my 
yoke  of  oxen  and  a  small  stack  of  wild  hay  for  a  three-year-old 
Arabian  horse.  I  also  exchanged  120  bushels  of  wheat  for  a 
three-year-old  mare.  The  first  trade  was  made  with  James 
Carver  and  the  latter  with  Abraham  Lott.  Then  I  had  no  har- 
ness. I  worked  for  a  neighbor,  John  "Watkins,  and  took  a  mule- 
iron  tug  harness  for  pay.  This  harness  had  no  lines,  but  I 
bought  a  bell  cord  and  made  a  pair  of  lines  which  I  used  two 
years.  In  the  latter  part  of  December,  1862,  I  loaded  forty 
bushels  of  wheat  and  a  400-pound  dressed  hog  for  a  merchant  of 
Austin,  George  B.  Hayes,  and  started  for  Winona,  our  nearest 
wheat  market.  "When  about  luilf  way  between  Brownsdale  and 
Beaubien  Grove  the  tire  on  one  of  the  wheels  of  my  wagon 
liroke.     I  stopped  immediately.     There   1   was.  all  alone.     The 


around  was  frozen  hard  and  there  "was  no  snow.  But  fortune 
favors  the  brave.  The  porker  was  on  top  of  my  load.  I  took  the 
end  boards  out  of  my  wagon  box,  piled  up  the  wheat  sacks  as 
high  as  the  bottom  of  my  box,  slid  the  hog  out  on  sacks,  un- 
leaded the  balance  of  the  wheat,  and  then  took  the  broken  tire 
and  returned  to  Brownsdale,  where  I  had  it  set.  Then  I  went 
back  as  far  as  Mr.  Tanner's,  the  last  farm  house,  and  there 
stayed  all  night.  The  next  morning  after  breakfast  I  started  for 
my  load  of  wheat  and  pork.  "When  I  reached  the  spot  everything 
was  as  I  had  left  it,  and  the  prairie  Avolves  had  not  scented  the 
feast.  I  backed  up  to  the  pile  of  wheat,  slid  the  hog  in  the  box, 
reloaded  the  pile  of  wheat  and  made  another  start  for  Winona, 
Avhich  place  1  reached  Avithout  further  mishap. 

In  the  winter  of  1865-66,  I  think  it  was  in  January,  Obadiali 
Smith,  A.  V.  Ellis  and  myself  planned  to  start  on  a  Friday 
morning  for  Casson  with  wheat.  In  the  morning  it  looked  very 
stormy,  so  I  was  the  only  one  that  started.  I  arrived  in  Casson 
in  time  to  sell  and  unload  my  wheat.  That  night  it  snowed  all 
night.  I  started  for  home  the  next  morning.  The  roads  were 
badly  drifted.  When  I  came  to  the  last  farm  house  I  had  the 
farmer  go  with  me  and  start  me  across  the  lone  prairie.  After 
looking  around,  he  advised  me  to  go  back  with  him  and  stay 
until  Monday  morning.  This  was  Saturday  afternoon.  I  did 
so.  Monday  morning  was  cloudy  and  it  looked  like  snow.  There 
was  nothing  to  guide  me,  no  sun  Avas  visible,  and  it  Avas  not  less 
than  fifteen  miles  to  the  settlement  north  of  BroAvnsdale.  How- 
ever, I  started.  There  Avas  no  evidence  of  the  summer  road  to 
guide  me.  The  grass,  weeds  and  hazel  bushes  Avere  all  snoAved 
under.  The  railroad  had  been  finished  to  Casson  the  fall  ])efore. 
After  I  had  gone  about  tAvo  miles,  it  w^as  apparent  that  the  team 
was  lost.  I  stopped,  tied  the  lines  to  the  box,  dropped  on  my 
knees  and  prayed  to  the  Lord  to  guide,  the  horses  to  the  settle- 
ment on  the  other  side  of  the  prairie.  I  did  not  touch  the  lines, 
but  let  the  team  go  as  thej'  pleased,  and  did  not  hurry  them. 
In  the  afternoon  T  came  to  the  settlement  about  one  mile  north 
of  the  right  road.  I  Avas  very  happy  after  striking  tlie  right 
road.    That  is  the  only  time  I  Avas  ever  lost. 

In  February,  1865,  James  T.  Sargent,  George  N.  Conkey, 
Henry  Carter,  Isaac  N.  Peterman,  Hugh  IMills,  James  Mills  and 
myself  started  for  St.  Paul  Avith  loads  of  oats.  The  Avheeling 
was  good,  and  all  the  ground,  except  the  roads,  Avas  about  cov- 
ered Avith  snow.  We  sold  our  oats  in  St.  Paul  and  drove  across 
the  country  to  Minneapolis.  That  Avas  my  first  trip  to  the  TAvin 
Cities.  The  rest  of  tlie  parly  loaded  tlicir  wagons  Avith  lumber 
for  a  Methodist  chui'di.  1  loaded  mine  Avith  pine  siding  and 
flooring  to  finisli  an  addilioii  to  my  lionse. 


May  5.  my  house  was  destroyed  by  fire  and  we  lost  every- 
thing except  AA'^hat  we  had  on  our  backs.  The  building  was 
insured  with  the  Madison  Mutual  of  Wisconsin  for  $300.  In  Au- 
gust of  the  same  summer,  I  took  a  load  of  wheat  to  Winona, 
accompanied  by  our  oldest  son,  Calvin.  We  camped  out  along 
the  way  and  slept  under  our  wagon  nights,  except  when  in  the 
city.  At  AYinona  we  sold  our  wheat,  purchased  a  carload  of  lum- 
ber,  and  shipped  it  by  rail  to  Rochester.  We  followed  the  train 
to  Rochester,  unloaded  the  lumber,  brought  a  load  home  and 
finished  the  house  in  time  to  move  in  November  16. 

My  wife  helped  me  in  all  my  work  until  the  boys  were  old 
enough  to  take  her  place.  With  heroic  fortitude  she  loaded  and 
stacked  hay  and  grain,  cut  corn,  dug  potatoes,  milked  the  cows 
and  did  her  housework.  My  Avife  and  I  are  charter  members  of 
the  Congregational  church  of  Aiistin,  Avhich  we  helped  to  organ- 
ize July  6,  1857.  We  also  had  the  pleasure  of  assisting  in  the 
celel)ration  of  the  fiftieth  anniversary,  July  6,  1907.  I  am  a  life 
member  of  the  American  Board  of  Foreign  Missions,  a  life  mem- 
ber of  the  American  Home  IMissionary  Society,  a  member  of  the 
JMinnesota  Territorial  Pioneers'  Association;  helped  to  organize 
the  Austin  Co-operative  Creamery  Association,  and  Avas  its  first 
president;  was  president  of  the  Mower  County  Old  Settlers' 
Association  eighteen  years,  and  have  been  a  member  of  the  Aus- 
tin toAvn  board  for  a  number  of  terms,  as  well  as  town  treasurer 
and  a  justice  of  the  peace. — Jacob  S.  Decker. 


M.  J.  Slaven  has  furnished  this  Avork  AA'ith  an  interesting 
account  of  an  early  Fourth  of  July  celebration  in  Rose  Creek. 
'"What  an  event  our  first  Fourth  of  July  celebration  was  to 
those  of  us  who  had  knoAvn  no  play  for  a  year!  It  was  the 
people  along  Rose  Creek  Avho  took  the  lead.  A  fcAV  days  before 
the  Fourth  we  called  our  neighbors  together  to  prepare  for  the 
coming  of  the  great  day.  Mrs.  Aaron  Draper  and  i\Irs.  Catherine 
Slaven  were  appointed  as  a  flag  committee.  They  procured  their 
OAvn  material  and  experienced  something  of  the  satisfaction  and 
joy  of  Betsy  Ross  at  the  wonderful  results  accomplished.  Mrs. 
Patrick  0']Malley,  Mrs.  Thomas  Smith,  Mrs.  Stephen  Sutton  and 
]\Irs.  AndrcAv  Robertson  planned  the  feast  and  the  men  AA'ent  at 
their  Avork  Avith  zeal.  At  sunrise  on  the  Fourth  the  sound  of 
Draper's  anvil  awoke  the  echoes  and  people  began  to  gather  at 
the  O'Malley  farm,  near  the  site  of  the  i)resent  village  of  Rose 
Creek.  People  came  from  Austin,  BroAvnsdale,  Frankford,  Le 
Roy,  Nevada,  and  in  fact  from  the  whole  length  of  Rose  Creek. 
AVhat  a  jolly  crowd  it  was  that  greeted  our  tiag,  Avhich  floated 


from  the  top  of  an  oak  tree  which  had  been  stripped  of  its 
branches.  There  was  a  program,  of  course.  Thomas  Smith  read 
the  Declaration  of  Independence.  James  Slaven  delivered  the 
oration  and  then  came  a  bountiful  dinner,  followed  by  games  and 
races.  Then  the  tables  were  spread  again,  for  we  were  a  healthy, 
hungry  race,  and  though  not  epicurean  in  our  tastes  the  joys  of 
the  table  certainly  appealed  to  us.  As  evening  came  on  the 
older  people  prepared  to  go  home.  Not  so  the  younger  ones, 
who  clamored  for  a  dance.  The  Fourth  did  not  end  for  them 
until  the  dawn  of  the  following  day,  when  after  a  hot  breakfast 
they  were  obliged  to  start  for  home.  Perhaps  it  was  this  gath- 
ering more  than  any  other  which  promoted  a  feeling  of  interest 
in  one  another  among  the  people,  and  that  interest  has  not 
entirely  died  out,  as  witnessed  by  the  yearly  gathering  of  the 
steadily  decreasing  circle  of  those  who  are  privileged  to  call 
themselves  old  settlers." 


Clymer,  Chautauqua  county,  N.  Y.,  was  the  place  of  my  birth, 
September  17,  1845.  From  there  I  moved  with  my  parents  to 
Warren  county,  Pennsylvania,  and  stayed  six  years.  Then,  in 
the  fall  of  the  year,  our  family  started  for  Iowa  with  a  team. 
After  a  long  journey  we  reached  Maquoketa,  Jackson  county,  the 
night  before  Christmas.  Then  we  went  to  a  farm  near  where 
Delmar  Junction  is  now  located.  There  we  stayed  four  years. 
Then  we  changed  our  horses  for  two  yoke  of  oxen,  and  made  our 
way  to  Gundy  county,  Iowa.  We  arrived  there  in  May,  1856. 
We  did  not  like  the  place,  however,  and  in  August  of  that  year 
we  started  for  Minnesota.  We  found  a  place  that  suited  us  and 
on  August  25,  1856,  we  pitched  our  tent  in  what  is  now  section 
22,  Udolpho  township.  There  we  started  to  make  a  home. 
When  we  reached  here  father  had  two  yoke  of  oxen,  one  cow, 
and  thirty-five  cents  in  money.  The  third  day  after  we  arrived 
father  was  taken  ill  with  malaria  and  rheumatism  and  had  to  be 
helped  to  get  out  of  bed.  We  badly  needed  some  hay  cut  for 
the  winter  use  of  the  cattle.  I  mowed  what  I  could,  but  I  was 
barely  eleven  years  old,  my  eleventh  birthday  coming  in  Sep- 
tember of  that  year.  Mother  bunched  up  what  hay  I  could  mow 
and  then  we  hauled  it  and  stacked  it  around  some  crotches  and 
poles,  thus  making  a  place  to  sleep  in.  We  had  the  stove  in  a 
tent  made  of  the  wagon  cover.  We  had  an  early  frost  and  this 
killed  the  grass,  so  I  could  cut  no  more  hay.  Then  I  started  to 
cut  logs  for  a  house,  father  being  just  well  enough  to  get  out  and 
show  me  how.  Our  first  visitors  were  five  Indians  on  horseback, 
who  seemed  mucli  interested  in  al!  tluit  we  were  doing.     Later 


the  forest  fires  began  to  run.  I  secured  a  plow  and  plowed  some 
guards.  I  thought  this  made  us  safe,  but  one  windy  day  a  fire 
came  and  while  mother  and  I  were  getting  father  where  it  was 
safe  the  fire  jumped  the  guards  and  burned  everything  we  had, 
except  the  clothes  on  our  bodies,  and  even  those  clothes  were 
of  the  very  poorest.  I  went  out  and  found  the  frightened  oxen 
and  took  father  and  the  rest  to  one  of  the  neighbors,  where  we 
spent  the  night.  The  next  day  we  went  to  Austin  and  sold  one 
pair  of  oxen,  thus  securing  money  to  buy  provisions  and  clothes. 
While  we  were  gone  the  neighbors  had  been  about  and  gathered 
some  bedding  and  clothing  for  us,  so  with  what  we  purchased 
we  managed  to  get  along.  Some  of  the  men  from  Lansing  came 
and  cut  logs,  with  which  they  built  us  the  body  of  a  house,  one 
story  high.  We  laid  some  poles  across  and  a  neighbor  loaned  us 
a  tent  to  put  over  for  a  roof.  We  chinked  the  cracks  and  plas- 
tered the  logs  with  mud,  and  in  this  edifice  we  lived,  keeping 
the  cattle  in  the  other  end.  In  November  I  went  to  Brownsdale 
and  got  a  load  of  oak  timber  for  floors  and  doors.  Provisions 
were  scarce  and  high.  Corn  meal  was  $5  a  hundred  and  pork 
$15  a  hundred.  Flour  we  did  not  dare  even  think  of.  Winter 
set  in  early  and  very  cold.  We  had  to  sell  our  last  team  and 
wagon  to  get  food  and  clothing  for  the  winter.  In  the  spring 
we  wanted  to  get  some  breaking  done.  It  cost  us  $5  an  acre. 
Wages  were  fifty  cents  a  day,  when  one  was  fortunate  enough  to 
get  work.  Father  secured  the  use  of  two  yoke  of  oxen  for 
br,eaking  ten  acres  each.  Then  he  joined  with  another  man  who 
had  two  yoke  and  secured  a  twenty-four-inch  grub  plow  and 
broke  all  summer.  Thus  we  lived  through  the  summer.  I  drove 
four  yoke  of  oxen  and  father  worked  out  when  he  could  find 
anything  to  do,  in  the  meantime  doing  things  to  make  the  house 
more  comfortable.  Our  clothes  wore  out  and  mother  colored 
cotton  meal  sacks  with  bark  and  made  dresses  for  herself  and 
the  girls,  and  trousers  and  jumpers  for  father  and  me.  We 
killed  game  and  caught  fish  for  food,  and  had  one  cow  to  furnish 
milk.  The  second  winter  father  worked  at  burning  charcoal. 
He  also  had  some  traps  made  and  caught  animals,  from  which  he 
sold  some  fur.  W^ith  this  money  we  purchased  a  little  flour  and 
some  clothing.  In  the  spring  I  worked  four  days  for  a  bushel 
of  potatoes,  so  small  that  each  one  would  go  through  an  inch 
tiole.  But  they  made  good  seed  and  we  raised  good  potatoes, 
[n  the  spring  of  1859  father  had  $15,  which  he  had  received  from 
curs.  With  this  he  hoped  to  buy  a  hog,  but  the  man  who  brought 
ihem  in  from  Iowa  wanted  fourteen  cents  a  pound  and  would  not 
cut  one  up.  So  we  could  not  buy.  But  a  man  said  he  Avould 
sell  a  three-year-old  cow  for  $15,  so  we  brought  the  cow  home. 
This  we  traded  for  a  four-year-old   bull.     Soon   avo    j)urchased 


another  bull  at  Brownsdale  for  $17  and  broke  in  the  pair  to 
work  together.  We  had  a  wagon,  so  we  made  a  wooden  sled, 
which  had  to  answer  for  freight  and  pleasure.  Then  we  joined 
with  two  of  our  neighbors  and  broke  ten  acres  apiece.  One  of 
the  neighbors  had  a  stag  and  a  cow  for  his  team,  the  other  had  a 
good  yoke  of  oxen,  and  we  had  the  bulls.  In  the  spring  of  1862 
we  sowed  fifteen  acres  to  wheat  and  broke  some  more  land. 
August  9  we  commenced  to  harvest.  Father  cut  with  a  cradle, 
mother  raked  in  the  sheaves,  and  I  bound,  while  the  two  girls 
placed  it  in  shocks.  That  day  father  enlisted  in  Company  C, 
Ninth  Minnesota  Volunteer  Infantrj',  and  went  to  Ft.  Snelling, 
from  which  place  he  went  out  after  the  Indians.  Mother  and  I 
harvested  the  crop.  I  cradled,  mother  raken  in,  and  then  would 
carry  the  cradle  back  and  I  would  bind  it.  This  took  a  long 
time.  Father  came  home  on  a  furlough  and  helped  stack  it. 
Then  I  secured  a  threshing  machine  and  threshed  it.  We  had 
no  granary,  so  I  laid  iip  a  rail  pen  and  thatched  the  sides  and 
roof  with  straw  and  put  the  wheat  in.  We  needed  some  clothing 
and  desired  to  change  the  wheat  into  money.  So  we  had  to  get 
it  taken  to  Winona.  I  could  not  haul  with  my  team,  so  we  hired 
a  neighbor  to  take  a  load  for  us.  He  charged  twenty-five  cents 
a  bushel.  When  we  reached  Winona  all  he  could  get  for  it  was 
thirty  cents  a  bushel.  It  cost  seven  cents  to  get  it  threshed. 
So  he  took  it  to  the  Stewartville  mill  and  had  it  ground  into 
flour.  He  gave  me  half  the  flour  and  kept  the  bran  and  the 
shorts  to  feed  his  team.  That  is  the  way  I  made  money.  But  I 
got  enough  to  eat  and  managed  to  get  along.  Father  went 
south  with  his  regiment  and  was  taken  prisoner  at  the  battle  of 
Guntown.  Pie  was  starved  to  death  by  the  rebels  in  Milan 
prison.  I  stayed  in  Udolpho,  paid  for  the  place  and  took  care 
of  mother  and  furnished  a  home  for  the  girls  until  they  were 
married  and  had  homes  of  their  own.  Mother  died  January  1, 
1910.  I  have  never  had  time  to  get  married,  so  I  am  still  single. 
—0.  J.  Rhoades. 




City  Founded  at  the  Old  Water  Ford — Coming-  of  Austin  Nichols 
— Arrival  of  Chauncey  Leverich — Beginning  of  Settlement — 
Platting  the  Village — Pioneer  Days — Important  Events — Mur- 
der of  Chauncey  Leverich — Stories  of  the  Small  Beginnings 
of  What  Has  Become  an  Important  City. 

Austin,  the  county  seat  of  Mower  county,  is  situated,  broadly 
speaking,  in  sections  2,  3,  10  and  11,  in  Austin  township,  and 
sections  34  and  35,  in  Lansing  township.  The  exact  incorporate 
limits  are  as  follows: 

All  of  section  3 ;  the  north  half  and  the  southwest  quarter, 
and  the  northwest  quarter  of  the  southeast  quarter  of  section  2 ; 
the  northeast  quarter  of  section  10 ;  and  the  northwest  quarter 
of  section  11,  all  in  township  102,  range  18.  Also  the  south  half 
of  the  south  half  of  section  34,  and  the  south  half  of  the  south- 
west quarter,  and  the  southwest  quarter  of  the  southeast  quarter 
of  section  35.  Also  a  strip  of  land,  40  feet  wide,  oE  from  the 
west  side  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  the  southeast  quarter  of 
same  section  34.  Also  the  land  within  and  known  as  Oakwood 
cemetery,  being  in  the  southwest  corner  of  the  northeast  quarter 
of  the  same  section  34,  township  103,  range  18. 

The  city  is  three  miles  from  the  western  line  of  the  county  and 
midway-  north  and  south.  It  is  built  on  both  the  east  and  the 
west  banks  of  the  Red  Cedar  river,  which  raises  in  Dodge  county 
to  the  north  and  flows  south  into  the  state  of  Iowa.  Austin  was 
laid  out  in  the  fall  of  1855  by  Chauncey  Leverich  and  A.  B. 
Vaughan.  and  regularly  platted  in  the  spring  of  1856. 


The  first  settler  on  the  present  site  of  the  city  of  Austin  was 
Austin  Nichols,  who  located  here  in  1853.  He  sold  his  claim  in 
1854  to  Chauncey  Leverich. 

Chauncey  Leverich  was  a  young  man.  from  twenty-five  to 
thirty  years  of  age.  naturally  bright  and  ambitious,  with  an  eye 
to  business.  He  pre-empted  160  acres  of  land,  described  as  fol- 
lows :  The  south  one-half  of  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  3, 
and  the  southeast  quarter  of  the  southeast  quarter  of  the  same 
section,  and  the  southwest  quarter  of  the  northwest  quarter  of 
section  2.  The  latter  piece  of  hind  inclndcd  the  mill  site.  He 
immediately  commenced  building  a   saw   mill,   whieh   was  com- 


pleted  early  the  next  year.  He  started  in  business  with  good 
prospects,  but  his  career  was  suddenly  brought  to  an  end  in  1856. 

During  the  same  year,  1854,  the  following  named  came:  D.  J. 
Tubbs,  Benedict  Brown,  Robert  Dobbins,  David  L.  and  Willard 
Smith,  and  a  inan  named  Pinkham.  Late  in  1854,  or  early  in 
1855,  Winfield  Loveland  and  Francis  Stuhfell  came. 

D.  J.  Tubbs  was  born  in  Steuben  county,  New  York,  in  1825. 
On  coming  to  this  county  he  entered  and  bought  land  in  this 
vicinity,  but  continued  to  work  at  his  trade.  He  built  a  saw  mill 
in  1854  on  the  site  of  the  present  flouring  mill  of  Engle  &  Co.  lu 
1856  he  built  a  saw  mill  for  himself  about  one  and  a  half  miles 
south  of  Austin  on  the  Cedar  river.  These  were  among  the  first 
mills  erected  in  ]\Iower  county.  Mr.  Tubbs  remained  in  Austin, 
engaged  in  contracting  and  building,  and  became  a  substantial 

Benedict  Brown  was  a  son  of  Aloysius  Brown.  He  erected  a 
small  frame  building  near  Fay  R.  Smith's  residence  and  enter- 
tained travelers  for  a  time.  He  pre-empted  the  northwest  of 
section  3.  In  January,  1856,  he  sold  three  forties  of  this  land  to 
Yates  &  Lewis.  He  remained  a  resident  of  the  place  two  or 
three  years.  He  afterwards  engaged  in  farming  in  Lansing. 
In  1879  he  removed  to  the  Dakotas. 

Robert  Dobbins  claimed  the  southwest  of  section  3.  In  the 
fall  of  1855  he  sold  to  David  Oliver.  He  then  went  to  Lansing 
and  later  to  Clarksville.  Butler  county,  Iowa. 

David  L.  Smith  was  born  in  Genesee  county.  New  York,  Jan- 
uary 22,  1820.  In  1854  he  and  his  wife,  Emma  Tierney,  started 
in  a  prairie  schooner  to  seek  a  home  in  the  territory  of  Minne- 
sota. He  arrived  at  Chauncey  Leverich's  house  on  October  19. 
He  had  left  his  family  in  Fayette  county,  Iowa.  After  remaining 
here  two  weeks,  returned  for  his  family,  bringing  them  to  Mower 
county.  They  spent  the  winter  on  the  present  site  of  the  city  of 
Austin.  In  the  spring  of  1855  he  built  a  cabin  on  his  claim  in 
the  town  of  Lansing;  lived  there  a  few  months,  then  purchased 
eighty  acres  in  section  2,  town  of  Austin,  where  he  lived  ten 
years,  after  which  he  sold  and  bought  a  farm  in  section  5,  town 
of  Windom. 

Willard  Smith,  brother  of  David  L.,  spent  the  winter  of 
1854-55  in  Austin.  He  afterward  settled  in  section  2,  where  he 
resided  until  the  time  of  his  death. 

Pinkham  made  but  little  impress  upon  Austin,  and  after  a 
short  time  departed  without  leaving  even  a  record  of  his  first 
name  or  initials. 

Winfield  Loveland  was  a  blacksmith  by  trade.  He  purchased 
a  piece  of  land  now  occupied  by  ]Mrs.  G.  jM.  Cameron  and  there 
erected  a  set  of  log  l)uil(liiigs.     He  was  a   lover  of  fast  horses. 


and  was  the  owner  of  a  running  horse  that  was  so  well  trained 
that  after  having  been  once  led  over  a  piece  of  road  he  would  go 
over  the  same  stretch  to  beat  another  horse  or  against  time 
without  a  rider.  Loveland  remained  here  but  two  or  three  years. 
After  his  removal  the  stable  which  he  had  used  was  taken  down 
and  moulds  for  making  gold  and  silver  coins  were  found  secreted 
between  the  logs.  It  was  remembered  that  he  had  several  times 
passed  counterfeit  money,  but  had  always  willingly  redeemed  it, 
and  thus  avoided  trouble. 

Francis  Stuhfell  was  a  Canadian  Frenchman.  He  purchased 
the  lot  later  occupied  by  Sylvester  Smith's  family.  He  erected  a 
shanty  and  made  shingles  for  a  time.  In  the  fall  of  1855  he  sold 
to  Sylvester  Smith  and  located  elsewhere.  He  went  away  with 
Loveland.     A  part  of  the  time  while  living  here  he  kept  a  saloon. 


The  people  who  spent  the  Avinter  of  1854-55  here  were  obliged 
to  subsist  to  quite  an  extent  on  wild  game,  which  was  quite 
abundant.  The  spring  of  1855  opened  with  brighter  prospects, 
quite  a  number  of  settlers  coming  that  year.  Among  those  that 
came  were  the  following:  George  and  Oliver  Bemis,  J.  B.  Yates, 
V.  P.  Lewis,  Sylvester  Smith,  Levi  Watrous,  Abe  Haveling  and 
"Wild  Cat"  Brown,  G.  W.  Mason  and  a  man  named  Hayes. 

George  Bemis  settled  on  the  lot  east  of  Sylvester  Smith's  place ; 
was  one  of  the  men  prominently  connected  with  the  "stealing  of 
the  county  seat."  He  was  an  honored  resident  of  the  county 
until  1869.  when  he  removed  to  Utah,  where  he  engaged  in 
mining.     His  death  occurred  there  in  August,  1884. 

Oliver  Bemis,  from  Maine,  in  1855  pre-empted  160  acres  near 
the  present  city,  built  a  shanty  and  started  breaking  the  land. 
The  following  year  he  sold  this  land  and  purchased  a  farm  in 
section  11.  Four  years  later  he  sold  this  place  and  bought  a 
farm  in  section  3,  Windom  township,  at  about  the  same  time 
starting,  with  his  brother  George,  the  first  shoe  store  in  Austin. 

J.  B.  Yates  and  V.  P.  Lewis  were  both  natives  of  York  state 
and  of  a  speculative  turn  of  mind,  and  were  engaged  in  business 
here  for  many  years.  Yates  continued  to  reside  in  Austin. 
Lewis  remained  here  iintil  1882,  when  he  removed  to  Hopkins, 
Mo.,  where  he  engaged  in  mercantile  trade. 

Sylvester  Smith  was  from  Canada.  He  purchased  Stuhfell's 
place.  He  snon  became  prominent  in  county  affairs  and  remained 
a  resident  of  Austin  until  his  death. 

Abe  Haveling  (or  Haling)  Avas  a  hlacksinith  by  trade,  was 
one  of  a  roving  disposition;  remained  here  but  a  short  time. 

"Wild  Cat"  Brown  was  a  frontiersman  of  the  roughest  type. 


Civilizcitioii  did  not  seem  to  agree  with  hiiu,  so  he  left  iu  1856. 

G.  W.  Mason  purchased  an  interest  in  the  town  plat  from 
Leverich.  It  was  he  with  Vaughan  that  had  the  race  to  Frank- 
ford  to  beat  Yates  and  Lewis  and  get  their  plat  recorded  first, 
but  like  otliers  that  raced  with  the  same  parties  got  left. 

Levi  Watrous  was  from  Iowa  and  with  his  brother  had  a  claim 
in  section  12.  He  lived  here  about  two  years.  Afterward  he 
entered  the  ministry.  He  was  a  chaplain  in  the  army.  The  last 
heard  from  he  was  near  Elkader,  la.,  pastor  of  an  Adventist 
clnu'ch.  It  is  said  that  iu  the  spring  of  1855  Watrous.  Leverich 
and  ]Mason  were  one  day  sitting  under  a  tree  speculating  as  to 
the  future  of  the  place  and  during  the  conference  named  it 
Austin,  in  honor  of  Austin  Nichols,  the  first  settler.  The  place 
at  the  time  was  known  as  Leverich 's  mill. 

Hayes  was  generally  called  Black  Hayes,  to  distinguish  him 
from  G.  B.  Hayes.  He  was  a  speculator  in  land;  remained  here 
but  a  short  time. 


In  1856  the  following  named  were  among  those  who  came: 
J.  H.  McKinley,  Charles  Ferris,  George  E.  AVilbour,  Solomon 
Snow,  R.  L.  and  W.  S.  Kimball,  Orlenzer  and  Ormanzo  Allen, 
Joshua  L.  Davidson,  Hiram  L.  Coon,  G.  B.  Hayes,  D.  B.  Johnson, 
Jr.,  Aaron  S.  Everest,  G.  ]\I.  Cameron,  Colbert  C.  Hanehett, 
Loyal  AV.  Sjirague,  Dr.  J.  N.  Wheat,  Rev.  Stephen  Cook  and  his 
son,  John  F.,  Harvey  M.  Allen,  Samuel  Little,  S.  W.  Rice,  Luther 
S.  Morgan,  James  C.  Ackley,  Albert  Galloway  and  L.  N.  Griffith. 

J.  H.  McKinley  cMinc  early  in  Ihc  spring  and  purchased  a 
frame  bnilding.  which  he  opened  as  a  hotel,  the  first  in  the  place. 
He  managed  it  but  a  few  months,  when  he  sold  and  moved  to 
^Mitchell  county,  Iowa. 

Charles  Ferris  Avas  ]\lcKinley 's  son-inJaw.  He  came  at  the 
saiii(>  time  and  went  away  witli  him.  lie  was  a  carpenter  by 

Solomon  Snow  and  George  E.  Wilbour  were  from  j\Iassachu- 
setts.  They  Ijonght  the  liotel  fi-oni  :McKinley  and  entertained 
travelers  three  years,  wlicn  Wilbour  returned  to  ^Massachusetts. 
In  1869  he  cam.'  back. 

R.  L.  and  W.  S.  Kimball,  natives  of  New  Hampshire,  came 
Ajn-il.     They    soon    opened    tiie   first    hardware 

Ormanzo  Allen  were  twin   hrotiu'rs,  natives  of 

•a me  iiere  from  AVisconsin.     The  former  was  a 

;t  to  locate  in  Austin.     He  practiced  here  until 

loved  to  ^lilan.  Rock  county,  AVis.,  where  he  since 


mi    Illinois 



iri'  in  the  j) 


Orlenzer  a 



rk  slate,  ai 



ysicifin,  the 



(■(),  when  he 



died.  Ormanzo  was  a  lawyor  by  profession,  lie  caiiu"  in  tlie 
month  of  July  and  lived  here  luitil  his  death. 

Joshua  L.  Davidson  was  born  in  New  Hanii)shii-e,  in  Deeeniber. 
1812.  AVhen  a  lioy  he  moved  with  his  parents  to  Allei^heny 
eouiity.  New  York,  in  the  town  of  New  Hudson,  near  Cul)a.  lie 
married  in  his  young  manhood  Phoebe  Ann  Woodford,  who  was 
own  cousin  to  Lucius  Robinson,  ex-governor  of  New  York.  Fi\e 
or  six  years  after  their  marriage  they  moved  West,  settling  in 
Lake  county.  Illinois,  near  Chicago.  He  there  engaged  in  farm- 
ing. xVfter  four  years  there  he  removed  to  Rockford,  111.  This 
was  about  1851,  and  he  remained  there  till  1855,  during  wliich 
time  he  made  several  trips  into  the  great  Northwestern  territory, 
of  which  Minnesota  is  now  a  part.  In  the  spring  of  1855  he  came 
to  Winona.  Minn.,  where  he  purchased  a  large  interest  in  the 
town  site  of  that  city.  His  wife  died  the  spring  he  left  Rockford. 
1855,  and  November  24,  1856,  in  Fond  du  Lac,  Wis.,  he  married 
his  second  wife.  Mrs.  H.  Attilla  Albro.  In  the  early  spring  of 
1856  he  came  to  Austin  and  bought  large  interests,  among  which 
was  the  land  known  as  ''Davidson's  addition  to  Austin."  He 
was  a  speculator  in  real  estate  and  a  busy  worker  at  whatever 
his  hands  found  to  do.  He  moved  his  family  to  Austin  in  the 
spring  of  1857,  having  already,  in  company  with  John  F.  Cook, 
D.  M.  V.  Stuart  and  11.  C.  Bolcom,  built  the  first  frame  building 
of  any  size.  This  was  known  as  the  "Headquarters."  The 
pine  lumber  used  in  the  erection  of  this  old  landmark  was  hauled 
from  Winona,  a  distance  of  nearly  a  hundred  miles.  During  the 
Civil  war  he  built  the  Davidson  House — the  second  hotel  of  the 
place.  He  leased  this  property  until  the  last  year  of  his  life, 
when  he  operated  it  himself.  I\Ir.  Davidson  was  deacon  of  the 
Austin  church  from  the  time  of  its  organization  until  the  time  of 
his  death,  which  occurred  February  27,  1873.  He  donated  the 
lots  upon  which  the  Congregational  church  now  stands  at  Austin. 

Hiram  L.  Coon  was  a  physician.  He  remained  but  a  short 

G.  B.  Hayes  was  a  native  of  New  Hampshire.  He  was  the 
leading  merchant  of  Austin  for  somi^  years. 

D.  B.  Johnson,  Aaron  S.  Everest  and  G.  M.  Cameron  weie  all 
lawyers  liy  profession.  Tlie  two  foi'mei-  wci-e  natives  of  York 
state,  the  latter  of  Canada. 

Colbert  C.  Hanchett  and  Loyal  W.  Sprague  cauie  fi-om  Wis- 
consin and  ciigagcd  in  mercantile  trade,  in  \\liicli  tlicy  contiiuied 
anout  tlii'ce  years.  Ilanchclt  was  aftci'ward  in  tiic  army  as  a 
sutler.  He  died  in  tiic  South  during  tiic  war.  'I'iie  last  licai'd 
from  Sprague  he  was  at  Whitewater,  AVis. 

J.  W.  Wheat  was  a  native  of  New  Ilampsiiire;  a  physician. 

James  C.  Ackly  pui-cliascd  a  oni'-fourth  interest  in  the  village 


plat.  He  afterward  engaged  in  the  boot  and  shoe  trade.  After 
the  war  he  moved  to  southern  Missouri  and  later  to  Atchison, 
Kan.,  where  lie  died. 

Albert  Galloway  was  born  in  the  town  of  Newburg,  Orange 
county,  N.  Y.,  October  6,  1822.  In  1856  he  started  for  Minne- 
sota, intending  to  locate  at  Minneapolis.  ^Yhile  on  the  boat 
between  Dunleith  and  Winona  he  met  friends  who  induced  him 
to  go  to  Chatfiield  with  them.  They  started  from  "Winona  on 
foot  and  walked  to  Chatfield.  After  a  short  stop  there  they  pro- 
ceeded on  their  journey  and  walked  to  Frankford.  He  there 
procured  a  ride  to  Austin.  This  was  in  the  fall  of  1856.  He 
immediately  pre-empted  a  claim  in  section  17,  town  102,  range 
18.  He  proved  up  on  that  claim  in  November  of  that  year  and 
engaged  diiring  the  following  winter  as  clerk  in  Hanchett  & 
Sprague's  store.  In  1857  he  formed  a  partnership  with  D.  R. 
Johnson,  Jr.,  and  engaged  in 'mercantile  business.  He  had  cut 
some  logs,  which  he  sawed  at  Leverich's  mill,  and  erected  the 
store  building.  The  lumber  for  siding  and  floor  he  drew  from 
Winona.  Galloway  &  Johnson  dissolved  partnership  about  one 
year  later,  after  which  Mr.  Galloway  continued  in  business  alone, 
carrying  a  good  stock  of  goods.  He  remained  in  business  until 

L.  N.  Griffith  was  born  in  Allegany  county,  New  York,  No- 
vember 18,  1824.  He  removed  when  a  child  to  Lorain  county, 
Ohio.  He  was  postmaster  of  Austin  postoffice  from  1857  to  1858, 
and  was  also  justice  of  the  peace  for  many  years. 

Others  that  were  known  to  have  been  here  as  early  as  1856 
were  Dennis  Crandall,  John  E.  Hallett,  Samuel  Wheeler,  C.  P. 
Carpenter,  Charles  and  George  Bodle,  J.  M.  V.  Stuart,  John  M. 
Fleming,  A.  W.  Billings. 

John  E.  Hallett  engaged  for  a  time  clerking  in  Yates  &  Lewis' 

J.  M.  V.  Stuart  and  John  M.  Fleming  were  from  Canada. 
The  former  had  money  to  invest  in  land.  After  two  or  three 
years  he  moved  to  Kansas.  Fleming  was  a  young  man  with  a 
good  education.  He  was  for  a  time  deputy  register  of  deeds. 
He  remained  a  resident  of  Austin  until  the  time  of  his  death, 
whicli  occurrrcd  in  an  early  day. 

Charles  Bodle  remained  here  two  or  three  years,  during  which 
time  lie  drove  stage. 

C.  P.  Carpenter  was  also  a  stage  driver.  Two  or  three  years 
later  he  went  back  to  New  Hampshire,  where  he  lived  a  fcAV 
years.    Then  returned  to  Austin,  where  he  died. 



The  first  man  to  locate  in  the  vicinity  of  Austin  was  "Hunter" 
Clark,  who  built  a  log  cabin  near  the  grounds  of  Oakwood  ceme- 
tery in  the  fall  of  1853.  The  first  frame  house  in  Austin  was 
erected  by  Chauncey  Leverich,  in  the  autumn  of  1855.  In  1866 
the  first  brick  dwelling  house  in  town  was  the  Congregational 
parsonage,  corner  of  Maple  and  St.  Paul  streets.  The  second 
by  J.  B.  Y''ates,  corner  of  Kenwood  avenue  and  Mill  street.  The 
bricks  were  made  in  Austin  by  Y^ates  &  Lewis,  who  started  the 
first  brick  yard.  The  first  white  child  born  in  Austin  was  Austin 
Bemis,  son  of  George  H.  and  Eleanor  Merrick  Bemis,  born  No- 
vember 17,  1855.  The  second  child  born  in  the  place  was  Carrie 
]\I.  "Wheat,  daughter  of  Dr.  and  Mrs.  J.  N.  Wheat.  She  was 
born  December  6,  1856.  She  became  the  wife  of  E.  G.  Bascorab, 
of  Rochester,  Minn.  The  first  piano  owned  in  the  city  was  pur- 
chased by  Dr.  J.  N.  Wheat.  The  first  church  organ  was  played 
by  Mrs.  Johnson,  at  the  Methodist  church,  in  1863.  The  first 
brick  business  house  in  Austin  was  erected  in  1866,  by  Harlan 
Page,  for  a  bank,  with  laAV  offices  above.  This  was  destroyed  by 
fire  in  1869,  and  the  present  First  National  Bank  building  erected 
on  its  site.  The  first  goods  were  sold  by  A.  B.  Vaughan,  in  1855. 
George  H.  Bemis  ran  the  first  shoe  shop.  The  first  death  within 
the  place  was  that  of  Chauncey  Leverich,  in  the  early  fall  of 
1856.  Old  settlers  declare  that  David  Oliver  broke  the  first 
ground  on  the  forty  acres  now  platted  and  known  as  "Parker  & 
Brown's  addition  to  Austin." 


Judge  Ormanzo  Allen,  some  years  ago,  in  an  address  before 
the  Old  Settlers'  Association,  admirably  summed  up  the  early 
histoiy  of  Austin  in  the  following  words  :^ 

In  the  year  1853  the  territory  embraced  in  Mower  county  was 
surveyed  into  townships  and  seetionized.  Prior  to  that  time 
and,  as  for  that  matter,  several  years  thereafter,  Mower  county 
was  the  home  and  hunting  grounds  of  the  wild  Indian,  and  the 
early  settlers  of  Mower  county  have  seen  them  in  their  native 
independence  as  they  have  been  by  scores  in  their  teepees  and 
wigwams  along  the  Cedar  river ;  and  many  of  you  have  seen 
them  in  their  native  dependence  as  they  have  begged  for  bread 
in  your  houses,  where  they  have  entered  \inannounced  and  un- 
invited, and  you  have  heard  their  simple  language. 

In  the  fall  of  1852  some  camps  were  made  along  the  Cedar 
river  by  trappers  from  Iowa,  but  were  al)andoned  in  tlie  follow- 
ing wintiM-.     In  thi'  fall  of  1853,  near  where  Oakwood  cemetery 


now  is,  a  man  by  the  name  of  "Hunter"  Clark  settled  and  built 
there  the  first  log  house  in  the  eastern  part  of  Mower  county. 
About  this  time  came  Austin  Nichols,  who  built  a  log  house  just 
back  of  where  Judge  Cameron's  house  afterward  stood.  Austin 
was  named  in  honor  of  tliis  first  settler  on  the  to-\vn  plat  of  Aus- 
tin. Austin  Nichols  soon  moved  west.  That  same  winter  of 
1853-54  and  in  the  spring  of  1854  other  settlements  were  made 
along  the  Cedar  river  and  Deer  creek  and  loAva  river,  Lewis 
Patchin  being  among  the  number  of  settlers  along  Deer  creek. 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  year  3854,  and  in  the  year  1855,  set- 
tlers began  to  come  in  from  Iowa  and  Wisconsin,  among  whom 
were  Alanson  B.  Vaughan,  who  settled  at  Lansing;  John  Rob- 
inson, who  settled  near  High  Forest ;  John  Tift,  who  settled  eight 
miles  south  of  iSustin;  Chauneey  Leverich,  who  bought  out 
Austin  Nichols;  Abraham  8.  Lott,  C.  H.  Huntington,  James  and 
Return  B.  Foster,  who  all  settled  four  or  five  miles  .south  of 
Austin  along  the  Cedar  river.  September  14,  1855,  the  first  land 
was  taken  and  proved  upon  by  Chauneey  Leverich,  Jeremiah  B. 
Yates  and  Velorous  P.  liewis.  Sylvester  Smith,  Henry  and  Will- 
iam Baudler  and  many  others  came  this  year,  1855. 

During  the  year  1856  hundreds  came  to  Austin  and  ]\Iower 
county,  and  among  them  your  obedient  servant.  So  that  at  the 
close  of  the  year  1856  there  were  estimated  to  be  600  people  in 
Mower  county  and  abcnit  100  people  in  Austin. 

The  first  deed  for  the  conveyance  of  real  estate  in  Mower 
county  is  now  on  file  at  the  office  of  the  register  of  deeds  of 
Goodhue  county,  in  the  city  of  Red  AVing.  Many  deeds  were 
filed  and  recorch^d  in  Houston  county,  and  several  years  ago 
William  Carey  Snow,  then  deputy  register  of  deeds  for  Mower 
county,  went  to  Caledonia  and  copied  such  deeds  upon  our 

The  first  minister  tluit  ever  preached  a  sermon  in  Austin  Avas 
the  Rt^v.  Ml".  IMapes,  then  stopping  f(n'  a  sliort  time  near  Browns- 
dale.  Following  close  on  to  this  was  a  sermon  by  the  Rev.  ^Mr. 
Phelps.  These  sermons  were  l)oth  by  Methodist  ministers,  and 
botli  preached  in  the  Snow  &  AVill)our  hotel.  Rev.  Stephen  Cook, 
John  F.  Cook's  father,  a  Congregational  minister,  was  the  third 
person  to  i)i'c;icli  in  Austin.  lie  preached  during  August,  1856, 
and  tlic  succecdiim'  iVw  moutlis  in  a  small  house,  then  iised  as  a 
schoolroom,  and  on  1lu"  spot  wlici-e  Tliomas  Riley's  dwelling  Avas 
later  en-tcd.  Duriiit:'  1hc  winter  of  1856-7,  Rev.  E.  F.  Gurney 
and  Steplu'n  Cool^  prcjirlicd  in  pi'ivate  liouscs  about  town  as  they 
were  invited. 

The  first  sdionl  in  Ausliii  was  laugiif  by  Alaria  Vauglian  in 
a  log  bouse,  whicii  was  afterwards  occupied  by  yours  truly 
and  liis  wilV   lor  a   (iwcUing  house  and  stood  on  the  north  side 


of  Water  street,  where  James  Anderson's  was  later  erected.  The 
second  school  was  taught  by  one  Sarah  Berais,  sister  of  Oliver 
and  George  Bemis.  The  third  by  Kate  Conkey,  sister  of  George 
N.  Conkey.  Both  these  schools  were  located  in  a  small  building 
where  Thomas  Riley's  dwelling  house  was  later  erected.  The 
fourth  and  last  primitive  school  was  taught  in  the  winter  of 
1856-7  by  a  young  gentleman  by  the  name  of  Saxon,  the  pay- 
ment of  whose  wages  caused  the  arrest  and  sale  of  several  thou- 
sand shingles,  by  your  most  obedient  as  district  clerk,  belonging 
to  two  merchants  whose  names  I  forbear  to  mention.  Those 
young  merchants  severely  threatened  that  faithful  clerk  of  the 
school  district  with  a  long  and  tedious  lawsuit,  but  the  suit  has 
never  come  oflP  yet,  as  I  have  heard.  The  first  schoolhouse  built 
in  Austin  was  later  occupied  and  used  as  the  Methodist  Episcopal 

The  first  ])arties  married  in  the  county  were  Caleb  Stock  and 
^lary  "\Yatkins.  This  was  in  1856,  Sylvester  Smith,  a  justice  of 
the  peace,  officiating.  The  first  birth  was  that  of  Austin  Bemis, 
son  of  George  and  Eleanor  Bemis,  in  the  year  1855.  The  first 
death  was  that  of  Mary  Robinson,  of  High  Forest,  daughter  of 
John  Robinson,  in  the  year  1855.  The  first  town  site  recorded 
was  the  town  of  Austin,  M^hich  was  partly  surveyed  and  platted 
by  Yates  &  Lewis  and  is  now  Y''ates  &  Lewis'  addition  to  Austin. 
Then  followed  the  village  of  Au.stin. 

Several  once  live  and  famous  town  sites  have  long  since 
passed  in  their  chips.  I  refer  to  the  city  of  Madison,  ten  miles 
north  of  here  on  the  Avest  side  of  Cedar  river,  which  once  had  its 
hotels,  stores  and  saw  mill.  I  refer  also  to  the  city  of  Two  Rivers, 
one  mile  and  a  half  south  of  here,  at  the  confluence  of  the  Turtle 
and  Cedar  rivers,  which  6nce  had  a  famous  hotel,  kept  by  Robert 
Autis,  and  for  a  time  bid  fair  to  eclipse  Aiastin.  I  refer  also 
to  Cedar  City,  six  miles  south  of  here,  wlijch  once  had  its  saw  mill 
and  its  flour  mill,  and  Justice  Meanes,  before  whom  long  suits 
at  law  were  wont  to  be  tried  in  ancient  days.  But  the  floods  of 
August,  1858,  swept  out  the  last  vestige  of  that  city.  I  refer 
also  to  Troy  City,  eight  miles  south  of  here,  which,  unlike  its 
predeees.sor  of  ancient  lore,  never  had  any  wooden  horses  to 
l)eguile  the  unsuspecting  and  overcredulous,  but  it  had  its  hotel 
and  saw  mill  and  grist  mill,  which  the  floods  of  1858  and  finan- 
cial reverses  swept  away.  There  were  also  some  misadventures 
upon  the  east  side  of  the  county  in  founding  cities,  like  Frank- 
ford  and  old  LeRoy,  which  have  nearly  faded  oiit. 

The  first  frame  house  built  in  the  county  was  built  by  Chaun- 
cey  Leverich  on  lot  5,  in  block  2,  in  the  village  of  Austin,  near 
where  the  dwelling  house  of  James  T.  Sargent  was  later  erected. 
By  so  doing  the  Leveriehs  were  accused,  at  that  time,  of  putting 


on  "airs,"  •which  frame  house  long  since  went  down  before  the 
corroding  tooth  of  time.  The  first  saw  mill  built  in  the  county 
was  built  by  Chauncey  Leverieh  in  the  year  1855,  where  Eugle's 
was  later  erected. 

The  first  newspaper  ever  published  in  the  county  was  by 
David  Blakely  in  Austin  in  the  fall  of  1858,  called  the  ]\Iower 
County  Mirror.  Blakely  started  this  paper  in  consideration  of 
being  elected  to  the  lucrative  office  of  register  of  deeds  of  Mower 
county.  He  published  this  paper  for  about  one  year,  and  was 
succeeded  by  Rufus  K.  Crum,  Avho  published  the  paper  for  about 
another,  at  which  time  the  paper  was  removed  to  Rochester, 
]\Iinn.  About  four  months  thereafter  B.  P.  Jones  commenced  the 
publication  of  the  Courier,  which,  by  various  devices,  was  con- 
tinued for  some  two  years,  when  Jones  went  into  the  United 
States  service,  and  in  July,  1863,  the  Mower  County  Register 
•was  started  by  Herman  R.  Davidson,  just  out  of  Oberlin  college, 
and  son  of  Joshua  L.  Davidson,  who  published  the  paper  for 
about  one  year  and  until  his  death,  when  C.  H.  Davidson  con- 
tinued the  publication  of  the  paper.  Then  came  the  Transcript 
and  other  papers. 

The  hasty  glance  Avhich  we  have  taken  contrasting  the  present 
with  the  past  shows  that  IMower  county  has  indeed  made  great 
progress  in  every  material  and  A-ital  matter  pertaining  to  and 
affecting  the  interests  and  the  true  interests  of  her  citizens,  and 
that  Mower  county  is  well  abreast  with  other  counties  in  our 
state  in  her  mechanical  and  agricultural  interests,  as  well  as 
schools,  churches,  railroads,  buildings,  bridges  and  every  in- 
ternal improvement  calculated  to  build  up  and  develop  the 
wliole  country.  ,  , 


In  the  winter  of  1856-57,  the  building  known  as  Headquarters 
was  built.  It  was  built  by  Joshua  L.  Davidson,  J.  F.  Cook, 
J.  M.  V.  Stuart  and  H.  C.  Bolcom.  It  was  located  on  Main  street. 
The  lower  story  was  used  as  a  store  for  many  years.  The  upper 
story  was  all  that  can  possibly  be  meant  by  the  word  "head- 
quarters." Within  tliis  building  the  Mirror,  the  first  paper  in 
Mower  county,  was  started  by  David  Blakely,  and  its  newspaper 
honor  did  not  close  till  it  had  been  used  as  the  office  of  the  INIin- 
nesota  Courier,  the  Register  and  Transcript,  thus  being  the  birth- 
place of  four  of  Mower  coiinty's  solid  journals.  The  first  court 
ever  held  in  Mower  county  convened  here.  It  was  also  used 
for  school  and  religious  purposes.  Some  of  the  early  settlers 
will  remember  how  the  pioneers  came  in  from  the  country  with 
ox-   tenms  to   worsliip   at   tliis  place.     There   were  the   old   and 


young,  and  among  the  number  might  have  been  seen  pretty 
maidens  with  their  shaker  bonnets,  and  sometimes  in  their  bare 
feet.  This  was  also  the  place  for  holding  all  the  public  gather- 
ings, festivals,  dances  and  other  events.  Could  its  walls  but 
speak,  what  a  tale  it  would  tell  of  days  long  since  passed  into 
oblivion.    The  Austin  National  Bank  now  occupies  the  site. 


In  the  early  fifties  of  the  last  century,  a  half-broken  trail 
wound  its  way  from  the  Iowa  state  line  to  what  are  now  the 
Twin  Cities.  In  time  the  trail  became  known  as  the  territorial 
road.  At  one  point  it  made  an  abrupt  turn  to  take  advantage 
of  a  ford  in  a  beautiful  stream  that  bubbled  and  gurgled  over 
pebbles  and  ever-shifting  sand.  Along  the  trail  and  down  to 
the  ford  came  army  horses  and  mules  to  plunge  fetlock  deep  and 
thrust  their  dust-filled  nostrils  in  the  cooling  water.  Here  the 
troopers  used  to  tarry  on  their  way  through  the  Northwest. 
Here  emigrants  in  canvas-covered  wagons  rested  while  their 
tired  oxen  browsed  on  the  rich  herbage.  The  Sioux  from  his 
tepee  on  the  banks  watched  the  ever-increasing,  never-ending 
tide  of  caravans  that  were  to  crowd  the  red  men  toward  the 
setting  sun.  Trappers  of  the  mink  and  of  the  otter,  and  hunters 
of  the  deer,  came  and  pitched  their  tents  beneath  the  cotton- 

In  the  meantime  came  Austin  Nichols.  Others  followed.  Then 
came  Chauncey  Leverich.  He  came  to  the  crossing  of  the  Avaters 
on  his  way  to  the  Northwest,  where  he  sought  the  fur-bearing 
creatures  of  forest  and  stream.  Standing  on  the  banks  of  the 
Cedar,  he  said:  "Here  will  I  pitch  my  tent,  here  Avill  I  found  a 
city."  Here,  therefore,  the  city  was  built  upon  the  bank  of  the 
Cedar,  whose  waters  once  swept  noisily  through  this  valley  to 
join  the  far  away  Mississippi,  now  harnessed  for  the  needs  of 
man,  forms  a  lake  dotted  with  islands,  among  which  dart  the 
swiftly  driven  launches  of  pleasure  seekers.  Along  the  banks 
of  the  river,  parks  are  laid  out,  not  to  spoil  but  to  preserve  the 
wildness  of  spots  which  nature  made  lovely  in  wanton,  reckless 
prodigality.  There  are  some  places  where  it  would  seem  that 
nature  had  set  out  to  make  more  beautiful  than  any  other  spot 
some  places  where  she  seemed  to  have  worked  to  display  what 
the  poet  has  called  "her  wilder  majesty."  Aeons  of  time  she 
spent  to  enrich  the  soil  and  then  set  the  deep  and  everlasting 
springs,  some  to  pour  forth  like  fountains,  some  mere  trickling 
streams  of  liquid  crystal  to  flow  from  the  black  loam,  others 
she  set  to  form  deep  pools  and  put  in  perpetual  motion  the  sil- 
very sands  to  roll  about  the  bottom  as  thougli  blown  by  some 


spirit  of  the  deep.  luto  the  soil  she  scattered  with  a  prodigal 
hand  the  seed  of  a  thousand  flowers  and  grasses  that  the  land 
might  flow  with  milk  and  honey.  After  they  who  spied  out  the 
land  had  returned  with  the  grapes  of  Esehol,  others  came  to 
this  goodly  land.  The  pioneer  followed  the  trail  of  the  trappex\ 
The  lowing  of  the  kine  was  heard  where  the  wolf's  long  howl 
had  echoed  down  the  flights  of  years.  The  preacher  came  to 
plant  the  cross  where  the  Indian  had  pitched  his  wigwam.  The 
teacher  came  and  the  schoolhouse  was  set  like  a  lamp  upon  a 
hill.  The  railroad  supplanted  the  trail  itself  and  the  electric 
spark  told  that  Austin  was  born  on  the  spot  where  Chauncey 
Leverich  stood  when  he  declared  to  his  trappers  fifty-three  years 
ago,  ' '  Here  Avill  I  build  a  city. ' ' 

That  was  over  half  a  century  ago.  The  old  ford  is  no  more. 
The  rapids  above  it  are  harnessed  and  the  wheels  they  turn  grind 
the  grain  that  grows  where  the  hunter  lay  in  wait  for  the  buffalo 
and  deer.  The  trapper  comes  no  more  to  the  stream,  for  he  has 
passed  on  with  the  Indian,  the  mink  and  the  otter.  The  terri- 
torial trail  has  become  a  legend  with  which  the  old  settlers  love 
to  beguile  an  hour  with  the  newcomer.  Its  windings  were  long 
Hgo  made  straight,  and  brick  paving  covers  the  soil  once  trod 
by  trooper  and  emigrant.  Automobiles  rush  along  the  city 
streets  where  the  covered  wagon  caravan  creaked  over  the  prairie 
trail.  The  cottonwoods  are  no  more.  They  were  patricians  in 
those  days  but  plebeians  in  this.  The  places  they  occupied  are 
now  filled  with  graceful  elms,  fragrant  catalpa  and  handsome 
maples,  spirea  bow  their  wreaths  in  the  boulevards  over  a  car- 
pet of  deepest  green.  The  sky  line,  once  formed  by  the  trees 
of  tlie  virgin  forest,  is  now  marked  by  the  spires  and  crosses  of 
a  half  a  score  of  ehvirches  and  by  the  smokestacks  of  factories  and 
the  roofs  of  happy  homes. — John  H.  Skinner. 

Leverich  bought  out  Austin  Nichols  and  settled  on  the  original 
village  of  Austin,  Davidson's,  Berry's,  Brown's  and  Parker's 
and  a  forty  of  railroad  additions;  D.  J.  Tubbs  built  a  saw  mill 
for  Leverich;  Robert  Dobbins  settled  on  the  Balcora  quarter; 
Benedict  J.  Brown  on  Yates  &  Lewis'  and  Brown's  additions.  In 
.September,  C.  H.  Huntington.  A.  S.  Lott,  Calvin  Powers  and 
Moses  Rolfe  took  claims  east  of  the  Cedar  in  the  southern  part  of 
the  town,  and  D.  L.  Chandler  began  the  Cedar  City  settlement. 
The  Averys,  father  and  two  sons,  settled  the  Strever  farm  and 
other  land  near.  David  L.  and  Willard  Smith  came  in  October. 
1S.")4.  Fi-ancis  Stuhfell  and  Winfield  Lovel,  or  Loveland.  a 
l)l;i<ksinith,  came  later,  perhaps  early  in  1855.  The  first  mad<' 
shiiigh^s  and  for  a  time  ran  a  saloon ;  the  last  loved  fast  horses 
and,  so  the  old  settlers  allege,  made  counterfeit  money.  Game 
wns   abundant   ;ind   n   principal   means   of  sii])sist(>nce.     In    1855 


George  and  Oliver  Bemis,  shoemakers;  J.  B.  Yates,  V.  P.  Lewis, 
Sylvester  Smith,  Levi  Watrous,  Abe  Haling,  A.  B.  Vaughn,  G.  W. 
Mason,  Black  Hayes  and  Wild  Cat  Brown  and  others  were  added 
to  the  city  population.  There  settled  in  the  town  Robert  Autis, 
on  section  10 ;  Alexander  Nigus,  on  the  Ellis  farm ;  Reuben  Wat- 
rous, Widow  Lockwood,  George  and  Thomas  Phelps,  Clem  Smith, 
Daniel  McPherson  and  M.  J.  Woodson.  In  1856  there  came 
early  J.  H.  McKiuley,  and  built  the  first  hotel,  Avhich  he  sold  to 
Sol  Snow  and  G.  E.  AVilbour,  arriving  later,  and  Charles  Ferris, 
carpenter ;  R.  L.  and  W.  S.  Kimball,  hardware ;  four  attorneys, 
Ormanzo  Allen,  Aaron  S.  Everest,  D.  B.  Johnson,  Jr.,  and  G.  M. 
Cameron;  three  doctors,  Orlenzer  Allen,  H.  L.  Coon  and  J.  N. 
Wheat,  and  G.  B.  Hayes,  Hanehett  and  Sprague,  merchants; 
-J.  L.  Davidson,  John  F.  Cook,  Luther  S.  Morgan,  James  C.  Ack- 
ley  and  L.  N.  Griffith,  town  proprietors ;  Rev.  Stephen 
Cook,  Albert  Galloway,  S.  W.  Rice,  Samuel  Little,  H.  M. 
Allen  and  J.  j\I.  Berry,  afterwards  judge  of  the  supreme 
court.  That  year  there  settled  in  the  township,  among  others, 
Jacob  S.  Decker,  AV.  A.  AVoodsou,  John  Chandler,  H.  VanAVinkle, 
John  AA^atkins,  Caleb  Stock,  Alfred  Cressey,  Thomas  Bonnallie, 
John  Rose,  H.  E.  Case,  Thomas  Varco,  H.  G.  Prouty  and  AVel- 
come  Osborne. 

In  the  fall  of  1855,  Leverich,  with  the  services  of  A.  B. 
A^aughn  as  surveyor,  staked  out  a  village,  including  the  village 
of  Austin  and  Davidson's  addition,  but  did  not  properly  survey 
and  record  the  same.  Yates  and  Lewds  had  bought  the  S%,  of 
B.  J.  Brown's  claim,  NEJ4  of  3,  and  tried  in  vain  to  have  Lever- 
ieii  make  the  principal  street  on  the  quarter  line  of  three,  now 
AA'est  Main  street.  Leverich  platted  tlie  sides  of  his  lots  clear 
up  to  the  line.  Abates  and  Lewis,  with  ]Moses  Armstrong  as  sui-- 
veyor,  laid  out  their  addition  and  Brown's,  but  in  the  evening, 
learning  of  the  movements  of  A^'aughn  and  INIason,  platted  Austin, 
consisting  of  blocks  1  to  6  in  their  addition,  so  as  to  be  entirely 
surrounded  by  their  future  addition  and  coming  only  wnthin  a 
block  of  AYest  IMain  street.  Vaughn  and  Mason  had  bought  in 
with  Leverich,  and  in  his  absence  learned  of  Armstrong's  sur- 
vey, completed  their  survey  of  the  fall  before  and  late  in  the 
evening.  April  16,  1856,  crossed  the  Cedar  in  a  boat  and  started 
on  foot  for  Frankford,  the  county  seat,  to  file  tlieir  plat.  A'ates, 
Lewis  and  Armstrong  drew  tlieir  plat,  mounted  horses,  tried  at 
various  points  to  ford  the  swollen  Cedar,  gave  it  up,  the  night 
being  very  dark,  staid  all  night  at  John  Pettibone's  in  Lansing, 
crossed  in  his  boat  in  the  morning,  swimming  their  horses  behind, 
and  passed  Afason  and  Vaughn  about  four  miles  this  side  of 
Frankford.  They  found  the  .iustice  al)sent,  sent  for  Felcli,  pro- 
bate  judge,  and  acknowledged  and  filed  their  plat.    A''aughn  and 


i\:rason  arrived  half  an  hour  late,  altered  their  plat  by  dropping 
the  forty  that  became  Davidson's  addition,  and  christened  the 
other  forty  "Village  of  Austin,"  and  filed  two  hours  later. 

Leverieh's  saw  mill  was  the  first  business  established.  A.  B. 
Vaughn  and  son,  P.  D.,  opened  the  first  store  in  the  spring  of 
1855,  and  sold  out  to  Aloysius  Brown  in  1856.  Yates  &  Lewis 
opened  the  second  store;  Sprague.&  Hanchett  and  the  Kimballs 
opened  stores  soon  after. 

The  growth  of  the  town  was  from  the  mill  westward  on  Water 
street  and  the  street  south.  Yates  and  Lewis  moved  the  few 
buildings  erected  in  their  town  to  the  village.  The  increase  in 
numbers  was  less  in  1857  than  in  1856.  J.  S.  Lacy  built  tlie  sec- 
ond hotel  pretty  well  out  of  town,  where  the  Fleck  House  stands. 
In  1858  Avas  the  first  period  of  railroad  construction.  What  is 
now  the  Milwaukee  line  from  IMinneapolis  south  Avas  surveyed 
in  1857,  and  in  1858  graded  for  half  the  distance,  not  continu- 
ously, but  in  patches.  Bank  notes  secured  by  bonds  issued  by 
the  state  for  each  ten  miles  of  this  grading,  furnished  circulating 
medium  till  they  collapsed  in  the  spring  of  1859.  The  crops 
succumbed  to  the  high  water  in  the  summer  of  1858.  A.  Brown 
distributed  the  supply  of  flour  and  meal  that  kept  the  inhabitants 
alive.  ]\Tost  of  it  was  drawn  from  Chatfield  and  Decorah,  Iowa. 
The  state  of  the  roads  was  such  that  it  often  required  many  days 
to  make  the  journey.  When  it  Avas  noised  that  teams  Avere  gone 
for  a  ncAV  supply,  sacks  and  cash  Avere  deposited  to  make  sure  of 
a  portion.  The  demand  sometimes  exceeded  the  supply,  so  that 
but  ten  or  fifteen  pounds  could  be  allowed  to  a  family.  Gold 
Avould  not  buy  more  and  everyone  received  in  proportion  to  their 
family.  ToAAmship  and  A'illage  together  in  1860,  462 ;  in  1865, 
760;  in  1870,  2,632,  toAvnship  being  592  and  the  village  2,040; 
in  1875,  the  village  had  2,601;  in  1880,  2,305;  in  1885,  2,505;  in 
1890,  3,901;  in  1895,  5,087;  in  1900,  5,471;  in  1905,  6,489;  in  1910, 


In  1906,  John  II.  Skinner  Avrote  to  A.  R.  Nichols,  tlie  first 
white  settler  on  the  present  site  of  Austin,  and  asked  his  help  in 
ascertaining  certain  facts.  At  that  time  Mr.  Nichols  was  liA'ing 
at  Nichols,  Minn.,  of  AA'hich  he  had  previous  to  his  resignation 
been  postmaster  for  twenty  years.  In  reply,  Mr.  Nichols  gave 
the  folloAving  interesting  information:  "I  Avas  born  in  the  town 
of  Hopkinton.  St.  LaAvrence  county,  Juno  13.  1814.  In  1817  I 
was  taken  to  Livingston  county,  in  tlie  same  state,  and  in  1818 
Avent  by  sleigh  through  Canada  to  Detroit,  ]\Iich.,  Avhich  at  that 
time    contained    a    cnmplpnu'nt    of   Ignited    States   soldiers    quar- 


tered  in  the  historic  fort,  and  a  few  French  settlers  along  the 
river.  In  the  fall  of  that  year  we  went  back  to  Michigan  and 
settled  at  the  lakes  on  the  Huron  river.  In  1841  we  "set  sail" 
in  a  prairie  schooner  for  the  West,  crossing  the  Mississippi  on 
Christmas  day,  1841.  Then  I  went  to  the  lead  mines  in  Galena, 
111.,  and  Avorked  five  or  six  years,  then  came  back  to  Iowa  and 
spent  a  winter  at  Cedar  Lake,  hunting  buffalo.  The  following 
summer  I  went  to  Cedar  river  at  St.  Ansgar.  That  summer  the 
state  line  was  located.  That  fall,  1852,  and  again  the  following 
fall,  1853,  I  hunted  along  the  Cedar  river,  and  possibly  the  first 
fall  got  as  far  north  as  Austin.  When  I  reached  Mower  county 
in  the  late  fall  of  1853,  there  were  only  three  settlers  in  this  part 
of  the  county :  Mr.  AVoodbiiry  and  his  son-in-law,  Mr.  Pinkerton, 
at  Woodbury  creek,  north  of  the  Iowa  state  line,  and  O.  P.  Clark, 
in  a  shack  to  the  north  of  what  is  now  Austin.  June  8,  1854,  I 
drove  the  first  claim  stake  in  Austin,  and  a  short  time  afterward, 
O.  P.  Clark  brought  his  family  and  several  head  of  cattle  to  his 
claim,  which  Avas  above  mine.  The  next  settlers  were  Eobert 
Dobbin,  jMiller  Clayton  and  ]\Ir.  Pinkham.  I  sold  to  Mr.  Leverich. 
Then  I  left  Austin  and  went  to  Blue  Earth  river  in  Faribault 
county  and  settled  doAvn  to  farming  until  after  the  close  of  the 
war.  I  then  sold  out  and  went  to  IMinneapolis,  stayed  there  sev- 
eral years,  and  then  came  to  ]\Iille  Lacs  lake,  Avhere  I  am  at 
the  present  time." 


In  the  fall  of  1855,  Chauncey  Leverich  and  A.  B.  Vaughan 
staked  out  a  village  on  the  southeast  quarter  of  the  northeast 
quarter  of  section  3,  but  did  not  properly  survey  and  record  the 
name.  On  April  16,  1856,  J.  B.  Y'ates  and  V.  P.  Lewis  procured 
the  services  of  M.  K.  Armstrong,  county  surveyor,  and  com- 
menced to  plat  a  village  on  the  northwest  quarter  of  section  3. 
The  siirvey  Avas  not  completed  until  late  that  evening.  Vaughan 
&  Mason  (the  latter  having  bought  an  interest  in  the  plat)  saAV 
Yates  and  LcAvis  at  Avork.  Their  suspicions  Avere  at  once  aroused, 
and  thinking  to  checkmate  them  they  also  effected  a  regular  sur- 
vey of  the  lands  Avhich  they  had  staked  off  the  previous  autumn, 
and  late  in  the  evening  Mason  and  Vaughan  (Leverich  being 
absent)  crossed  the  Cedar  river  in  a  boat  and  started  on  foot  to 
Frankford,  the  county  «eat,  to  file  their  plat  ahead  of  Yates  and 
Lewis.  But  the  latter  party,  being  fully  equal  to  such  an  emer- 
gency, mounted  their  horses  and  rode  up  the  river  several  miles, 
trying  at  various  points  to  ford  the  sAVollen  stream  and  get  to 
the  county  seat  in  advance  of  them.  The  night  being  very  dark, 
they  finally  .stayed  all  night  at  John  Pettibone's,  in  the  tOAvnship 


of  Lansing.  In  the  morning  Mr.  Pettibone  took  them  across  the 
river  in  his  boat,  while  they  swam  their  horses  behind.  "When 
tliey  came  within  about  four  miles  of  Frankford  they  overtook 
Mason  and  Vaughan,  who  had  started  the  night  before  on  foot, 
and  had  spent  the  night  upon  the  prairie,  and  when  first  seen 
were  hun-ying  along  at  a  rapid  gait  for  the  county  seat,  in  order 
to  have  their  plat  placed  on  file  first.  Neither  party  had  had 
their  papers  acknowledged  by  a  .justice  of  the  peace,  as  was 
required  by  law,  and  when  Yates  and  Lewis,  who  arrived  at 
Frankford  first,  found  that  the  justice  of  the  peace  was  not  at 
home,  they  sent  for  Judge  C.  J.  Felch  to  come  and  acknowledge 
their  papers   that   they   might   place   them   on   record   at    once. 

Vaughan  and  ]\Iason  arrived  a  half  hour  later,  but  were  too 
.late,  as  Yates  and  Lewis  had  filed  a  plat  of  "Austin."  Two  or 
three  hours  later  Mason  and  Vaughan  filed  their  plat  as  the 
"Village  of  Austin." 

Recorded  Plats — Tlie  following  describes  the  filing  of  each 
plat  in  what  now  comprises  AiTstin:  Austin,  Yates  &  Lewis,  filed 
April  17,  1856;  M.  K.  Armstrong,  surveyor.  Village  of  Austin, 
April  17,  1856;  A.  B.  Vaughan,  surveyor;  proprietors,  "Washing- 
ton Mason,  Chauncey  Leverich,  A.  B.  Vaughan.  Bolcom's  Addi- 
tion, August  25,  1856;  N.  F.  Hilbret,  surveyor.  John  iNI.  Berry's 
Addition,  October  7,  1856;  D.  B.  Johnson  and  A.  W.  Billings, 
surveyors.  Davidson  &  iMorgan's  Addition,  March  17,  1857; 
D.  B.  Johnson,  surveyor.  Brown's  Addition,  August  6,  1857; 
Charles  E.  Carter,  surveyor.  Yates  &  Lewis'  Addition,  August  3, 
1857;  Daniel  B.  Johnson,  surveyor.  Parker  &  Brown's  Addition, 
August  19,  1867;  C.  J.  Shortt,  surveyor.  Railroad  Addition, 
January  1,  1868;  James  A.  Case  and  A.  B.  Rodgers,  surveyors. 
Palmer's  Addition,  December  22,  1869;  James  A.  Case,  surveyor. 
Yates'  Addition  to  Austin,  December  17,  1872;  George  W.  Clough, 
surveyor.  Fay  R.  Smith's  Addition,  November  1,  1883;  E.  B. 
Crane,  surveyor.  Galloway's  First  Addition,  April  8,  1872; 
Galloway's  Second  Addition,  ^Vlay  5,  1887;  Galloway's  Third 
Addition,  May  16,  1887;  Lewis  Park  Addition,  July  4,  1887; 
Blaven's  Addition.  July  2,  1887;  Duggan's  Addition,  December 
31,  1887;  outlots,  section  30,  November  21,  1887;  Lake  Park  Ad- 
dition, December  9,  1887;  outlots,  section  2,  December  7,  1888; 
Oak  Park  addition,  August  1,  1890;  Ranney's  Addition,  June  6, 
1891  ;  West  Park  Addition,  September  5,  1891  ;  Woodlawn  Park 
Addition,  May  7,  1892;  Hayes'  Addition;  May  31,  1892:  outlots, 
section  11,  June  13,  1893;  outlots,  section  26,  June  13,  1893;  out- 
lots, section  2.  June  13,  1893;  Elmwood  Addition,  August  9, 
1893;  outlots,  section  11,  August  2,  1894;  outlots,  section  2,  Au- 
gust 10,  1895;  Galloway's  Addition  to  AVest  Park  Addition.  Oc- 
tober 4,  1893;  Varco's  Addition  to  Austin,  December  4,  1895; 


outlots,  section  9,  December  31,  1895 ;  outlots,  section  2,  April  22, 
1896;  outlots,  section  2,  May  18,  1896;  irregular  survey,  in  sec- 
tion 4,  December  31,  1896;  outlet,  section  2,  May  21,  1898 ;  Jacob's 
Addition  to  Austin,  June  24,  1899. 


In  August,  1856,  Chauncey  Leverieh.  one  of  the  first  settlers 
of  Austin,  came  to  an  untimely  death  at  the  hands  of  a  crowd 
of  drunken  roughs.  The  affair  has  been  generally  believed  to 
have  happened  in  about  the  following  manner:  It  took  place  at 
a  saloon  where  the  new  Elk  hotel  now  stands.  The  parties 
committing  the  crime  were  intoxicated  and  making  loud  noises 
and  acting  very  boisterous  about  Mr.  Leverieh 's  place,  and  he 
finally  put  them  out  of  doors  and  they  began  pounding  the  side 
of  the  building,  whereupon  Leverieh  went  out  determined  to 
drive  them  away,  but  in  the  engagement  he  was  struck  by  a  bar 
of  some  kind,  which  fractured  his  skull.  He  lived  about  a  week 
and  was  buried  upon  the  corner  of  the  same  lot  upon  which  his 
building  stood.  The  parties  charged  with  the  crime  of  killing 
him  were  Horace  Silver  and  William  Oliver,  who  were  tried  for 
assault  and  battery,  and  fined  respectively  $20  and  $10.  Upon 
learning  of  Mr.  Leverieh 's  serious  injury  they  both  left  the 

S.  D.  Mead,  a  stepson  of  Horace  Silver,  one  of  the  men  who 
was  convicted  of  the  assault  on  Leverieh,  has  the  following  to 
say  of  this  tragic  incident:  "I  was  not  in  the  saloon  at  the  time 
of  the  affair  which  cost  Leverieh  his  life  and  my  people  their 
home,  but  I  have  my  information  from  Autis,  who  was  there  and 
saw  the  trouble,  as  well  as  from  vay  own  people.  This  saloon 
row  occurred,  as  most  such  affairs  do,  when  the  whiskey  was 
flowing  freely.  Now  this  was  a  friendly  gathering.  Silver  and 
Leverieh  were  the  best  of  friends,  as  were  Oliver  and  Leverieh. 
But  this  was  the  grand  opening  night  of  the  saloon  and  free 
whiskey  flowed  plentifully.  The  crowd  grew  merry  and  was 
liaving  all  kmds  of  fun,  but  the  fun,  as  is  usual  in  such  cases,  soon 
turned  into  a  row,  which  ended  in  a  general  fight,  during  which 
no  one  seemed  to  know  or  care  M^ho  was  hit  or  what  thej'  hit 
Avith.  The  consequence  was  that  in  the  general  melee  Leverieh 
received  a  blow  which  laid  him  oiit.  I  heard  the  trial  of  Silver 
and  Oliver  before  Justice  Smith,  but  tlien-  wns  no  evidence  pro- 
duced to  show  who  struck  the  blow  or  witli  wlint  it  was  struck. 
My  father  always  said  he  had  no  enmity  against  Leverieh  and 
always  mentioned  that  he  did  not  strike  the  fatal  blow.  He 
always  said  that  the  first  he  knew  that  Leverieh  was  hurt  he 
heard  someone  cry  out  in  the  crowd:     'For  God's  sake,  stop  the 


row;  Leverich  is  killed.'  This  was  the  story  he  still  held  to  on 
his  deathbed.  After  the  trial  he  said  that  if  Minnesota  were  a 
state  and  had  state  laws  he  would  stay  in  Austin  and  stand  trial. 
But  it  was  a  territory  and  he  was  told  that  he  better  get  away 
or  he  might  be  lynched.  So  he  and  Oliver  left  on  foot.  My 
step-father  walked  all  the  way  to  Michigan,  where  his  brother 
lived,  and  we  neither  saw  nor  heard  from  him  for  two  years. 

"After  he  had  gone  my  mother  was  nearly  insane  with  grief 
and  anxiety.  I  worked  and  cared  for  mother  and  four  children 
for  nearly  two  years.  I  then  disposed  of  our  cattle  and  personal 
property  and  went  back  to  Michigan.  Our  home  in  Austin  was 
taken  from  us  on  an  execution  for  a  debt  of  $15.  Father  then 
took  his  family  and  was  a  good  father  and  husband  as  long  as  he 
lived.  The  loss  of  everything  he  owned,  however,  broke  him  all 
up  and  he  was  never  the  same  man  after  the  unfortunate  atfair 
took  place.  He  died  in  Michigan  in  1874  and  my  mother  lived 
until  1886." 

Samuel  Rice  is  an  early  settler  whose  veracity  is  absolutely 
relied  upon.  His  story  differs  decidedly  from  the  other  versions 
of  the  affair,  is  as  follows:  "In  the  summer  of  1856  Chauucey 
Leverich  built  a  store  on  the  southeast  corner  of  Bridge  and 
Chatham  streets,  "where  subsequently  stood  the  buildings  until 
recently  owned  by  D.  B.  Smith,  which,  after  his  death,  were  sold. 
He  planned  to  open  a  saloon  on  the  north  side  of  the  store  and  a 
grocery  department  on  the  south  side.  Samuel  Rice  had  hauled 
the  first  load  of  groceries  from  Wabash,  arriving  the  very  eve- 
ning of  the  murder.  On  the  way  to  Austin  the  rear  spring  of 
his  democrat  wagon  broke,  so  he  removed  it,  and  arriving  at  his 
destination  left  the  spring  outside  of  the  building  by  the  door- 
way. The  store  was  unfinished.  A  carpenter  bench  stood  in 
the  center  of  the  floor  and  rubbish  lay  about  the  place,  which 
as  yet  had  not  been  opened  for  business.  Leverich  had  suggested 
that  he  and  I\Ir.  Rice  go  to  a  dance  at  Ed  Merry's  when  the  inci- 
dent occiirred  which  resulted  instead  in  the  death  of  Leverich. 
Horace  Silver  and  William  Oliver  were  lounging  about.  Lev- 
erich, smoking  a  cigar,  seated  himself  on  the  carpenter  bench 
near  Silver,  who  carelessly  picked  up  a  chisel  laying  on  the  bench 
and  deliberately  knocked  the  cigar  from  Leverich 's  mouth,  who 
exclaimed,  'Quit  that!'  bent  down,  picked  up  the  cigar  from  the 
floor  and  resumed  smoking.  Silver  knocked  it  out  of  his  mouth 
a  second  time,  at  which  Leverich  became  angry  and  swore  that 
if  he  did  it  again  he  would  lick  him.  Leverich  put  the  cigar  in 
his  mouth  again  and  Silver  delil)erately,  when  the  opportunity 
presented  itself,  tapped  the  cigar  with  the  tool  again,  sending 
it  to  Ihr  floor.  Levei-ich  swore  violently,  jumped  up  and  struck 
Silver    a    I)low    wliicli    sent    him    staggering    against    the    wall. 


Oliver  theu  stepped  forward  and  taking  hold  of  Leveridi  liy  llic 
arm,  said,  'Hold  on,  Chauncey;  you  are  too  hasty.'     Lcvcridi 

swung  around,  saying,  'You  take  it  up,  will  you,  you,' 

and  struck  him  a  hard  blow.  Silver  and  Oliver  went  out  of  the 
store  by  the  front  door.  A  few  minutes  later  they  told  Leverich 
to  come  out  and  they  would  fix  him.  It  was  a  very  dark  night. 
One  of  them  picked  up  the  spring  with  the  heavy  wood  piece 
attached,  laying  near  the  door,  and  when  Leverich  came  out 
threw  it  at  him,  point  first.  The  wood  hit  him  over  the  eyes 
and  crushed  his  skull.  He  fell,  unconscious.  Bystanders  in  the 
building  lifted  him  up,  carried  him  in  and  laid  his  senseless  body 
on  the  buffalo  robe  spread  on  the  carpenter  bench.  Dr.  O.  Allen 
was  called,  and  under  his  direction  Leverich  was  taken  home. 

"He  died  in  about  three  days.  In  the  meantime  Oliver  and 
Silver  were  arrested,  arraigned  before  Justice  Sylvester  Smith, 
and  fined  $15  and  $20,  respectively.  After  the  death  of  Leverich 
and  before  papers  charging  them  with  murder  could  be  served, 
they  escaped.  Silver  returned  to  town  secretly  some  years  later 
to  settle  his  affairs.  The  body  of  Leverich  was  buried  under  the 
back  window  of  his  store.  His  wife  moved  to  the  rooms  upstairs 
and  for  years  the  kitchen  slops  Avere  thrown  on  his  grave.  Later 
it  was  disinterred  by  his  heirs  and  moved  away.  Leverich  was 
an  extensive  land  owner  and  a  prosperous,  progressive  man.  He 
owned  several  sections  of  land  and  also  city  property,  besides 
other  interests.  His  wife,  according  to  well  authenticated  reports, 
was  deliberately  robbed  by  several  men  of  the  town.  The  various 
pieces  of  land  Avere  auctioned  off  for  but  a  fraction  of  their  real 
value.  Although  Chauncey  Leverich  Avas  a  man  of  rough  exterior, 
he  Avas  at  heart  good,  and  his  progressive  spirit  might  have  done 
much  for  the  groAving  toAA'n." 


The  folloAving  accounts  of  important  events  of  the  early  days 
are  Avorthy  of  preservation  in  this  work,  as  they  recall  pictures 
of  life  in  the  sixties  and  seventies,  long  since  forgotten  by  all 
except  the  oldest  inhabitants. 

January  2  the  Lake  building,  after  having  tAvice  caught  fire 
tlie  previous  day,  Avas  entirely  consumed  before  help  could  be 
obtained  to  extinguish  it.  In  the  loAver  room  Avas  the  store  of 
]\Ir.  Keeny.  The  most  of  his  goods  Avere  saved.  Upstairs  Avas 
the  photograph  gallery  of  A.  B.  Davidson  and  the  drug  store  of 
3Iorse,  Daily  &  Co.  All  the  stock  of  both  firms  Avas  entirely 
consumed.  The  insurance  on  the  gallery  AA'as  $150;  on  the  drug 
store,  $400. 

January  27,  1865,  a  schoolhouse  situated  a  fcAv  miles  south  of 


Austin,  on  Rose  creek,  was  consumed  by  fire.  The  building  was 
a  small  log  structure.  During  the  afternoon  of  the  same  day 
some  timbers  remaining  from  the  fire  were  carried  from  the 
spot  to  Mr.  Ames'  house,  near  by.  for  fuel  and  placed  in  the 
woodshed,  with  the  result  that  some  smouldering  embers  caused 
the  house  to  burn  down. 

On  May  3,  1865,  the  residence  of  Jacob  S.  Decker,  about  two 
miles  east  of  Austin,  was  destroyed  by  fire,  together  with  nearly 
all  its  contents.  The  loss  reached  .$1,000;  insurance,  $300.  The 
fire  originated  in  the  roof. 

On  June  10,  1863,  it  is  said  by  the  Courier:  "Horse  thieves 
are  getting  very  numerous  in  this  section  of  the  country  and 
that  portion  of  Iowa  bordering  on  Fillmore,  j\Iower  and  Free- 
born counties  in  particular.  We  have  had  calls  during  the  past 
week  from  no  less  than  seven  persons  on  the  lookout  for  horses 
stolen.  Three  horses  were  stolen  on  Wednesday  evening  last 
from  C.  H.  Owen  and  Daniel  Ames,  residents  of  Lyle  tOAvnship. 
They  will  get  $100  for  the  recovery  of  the  horses  and  the  thieves, 
or  $25  apiece  for  each  horse  or  thief." 

October  20,  1868,  the  Democrat  said:  "The  Austin  Academy 
and  Commercial  Institute,  for  ladies  and  gentlemen,  will  open 
without  fail  on  Monday,  October  26,  1868,  in  the  third  story  of 
Hunt  &  Basford's  brick  block,  corner  of  ]\Iain  and  Bridge  streets, 
with  J.  H.  Johnson  as  principal." 

Austin's  Disastrous  Fire.  ^Marcli  3,  1869.  Austin  was  visited 
by  its,  first  big  fire.  There  was  a  strong  wind  blowing  froni  the 
north  at  the  time  and  the  thermometer  stood  15  to  18  degrees 
below  zero,  which  tended  to  prevent  the  citizens  fron:  collecting 
as  soon  as  would  otherwise  have  been  the  case.  However,  quite 
a  number  were  promptly  on  the  ground,  but  the  fire  had  got  under 
such  headway  that  it  was  found  impossible  to  extinguish  it  with 
the  facilities  at  hand.  In  three  hours  from  the  time  the  fire 
was  first  discovered  four  two-story  brick  buildings  on  the  east 
side  of  Main  street  were  burned  to  the  ground,  nothing  being  left 
but  the  demolished  walls.  The  fire  was  first  discovered  in  the 
dry  goods  store  of  Case  &  Shepley,  the  north  building  of  the  four, 
the  direction  from  which  the  wind  was  blowing.  How  the  fire 
originated  was  a  mystery,  but  it  was  supposed  it  caught  from  the 
stove.  Witliiii  a  short  tiiiu>  a  ci-owd  of  three  or  four  hundred 
X)ersons  were  on  llie  ground  and  it  was  decided  as  impossible  to 
save  tlic  brick  l)uildings,  so  the  first  thing  to  be  done  was  to  save 
111!  cdntcnts  as  far  as  possible  and  to  prevent  the  fire  from 
sju-eading.  The  major  part  of  the  dry  goods  and  groceries  of 
JMessrs.  Solner  &  Morgan  were  saved,  and  a  few  things  from  the 
second  storv  over  Paddock  Bros.'  store.     Nearlv  all  the  contents 


of  the  First  National  Bank  building,  consisting  of  the  fixtures 
belonging  to  the  bank  and  to  the  law  and  land  office  of  Page  & 
"Wiieeler  were  saved.  The  contents  of  the  post  office  and  Griffith's 
book  store,  also  a  portion  of  the  dry  goods  and  groceries  of 
Austin  &  Richardson,  and  the  liquors  from  the  billiard  saloon 
of  W.  Simpson  were  removed.  The  small  frame  building  belong- 
ing to  J.  F.  Atherton,  and  occupied  by  him  as  a  grocery  store, 
standing  next  door  north  of  the  row  of  brick  buildings  was 
promptly  torn  down  and  remo^'ed.  Soon  the  fire  reached  the 
corner  building  and  it  was  found  necessary  to  tear  away  the 
small  frame  building  occupied  as  a  meat  market  to  prevent  the 
spread  of  the  fire  to  the  east  along  Bridge  street.  This  was 
promptly  done  and  the  fire  was  confined  to  the  brick  structures. 
At  the  time  the  entire  loss  Avas  estimated  at  from  $40,000  to 

The  following  is  a  list  of  losses  as  published  at  the  time  of 
the  conflagration:  J.  F.  Atherton,  one  brick  building  and  a  small 
frame,  household  goods  and  part  stock  of  groceries;  insurance, 
$2,200.  Case  &  Shepley,  stock  of  dry  goods  and  groceries,  books, 
papers,  etc.;  insurance,  $4,000.  Creditors  of  Paddock  Bros., 
stock  of  dry  goods  and  groceries.  Solner  &  Morgan,  part  of 
stock  of  dry  goods  and  groceries;  insurance,  $5,000.  First  Na- 
tional Bank,  brick  building,  counters,  etc. ;  insurance,  $2,000. 
Barnes  &  Baird,  brick  building;  insurance,  $2,000.  Lewis  &  Rob- 
erts, bi-ick  building :  insurance,  $2,000.  Dr.  E.  C.  Dorr,  dental 
tools  and  machinery,  books,  papers,  etc.  Dr.  E.  P.  Hudson,  dental 
tools,  etc.  Page  &  Wheeler,  furniture,  a  few  books,  papers,  etc. 
A.  Galloway,  frame  biiilding.  Frederick  &  Sammons,  a  few  tools, 
meat,  etc.  IMrs.  INIarshall  and  ^Miss  Nerton,  dressmakers,  sus- 
tained some  loss.  J.  AVoodward  and  Mr.  Carter  lost  their  house- 
hold goods.  Dr.  Barnes  sustained  some  loss  in  his  office.  Austin 
&  Richardson,  W.  Simpson,  R.  Griffith  and  Postmaster  Phelps  all 
sustained  some  loss  by  the  removal  of  goods. 

In  June,  1869,  complaint  was  made  to  Sheriff'  IMollisou,  by  a 
gentleman  from  the  rural  districts,  to  the  eff'ect  that  a  woman 
had  stolen  a  horse  from  him,  and  giving  a  description  of  the 
woman  and  horse.  It  seems  that  before  the  woman  had  got  a 
great  distance  from  the  starting  place  the  horse  escaped  and 
came  to  town.  The  gentleman  recovered  his  horse,  and  the  thief 
was  heard  from,  being  in  the  country  a])0ut  three  miles  distant. 
The  sheriff  desired  to  let  the  woman  come  to  town  and  claim 
the  horse  before  arresting  her,  but  was  urged  on  until  he  pro- 
ceeded into  the  country  with  papers  and  brought  the  woman  to 
town  and  to  trial.  It  seems  that  she  "smelt  a  mice"  and  con- 
cluded that  hers  was  a  "horse  of  another  color."     She  swore 


that  she  had  aeyer  seen  the  horse,  which  was  alleged  to  have 
been  stolen,  and  there  being  no  proof,  the  horse  not  being  found 
in  her  possession,  she  Avas  discharged.  The  authorities  came  to 
the  conclusion  that  it  took  a  sharp  man  to  trap  a  woman. 

June  26,  1870,  William  Simpson  was  drowned  in  the  Cedar 
river  at  Austin,  just  back  of  his  residence,  near  the  foot  of  St. 
Paul  street. 

On  September  22,  1868,  Henry  Hyer,  a  boy  about  twelve  years 
of  age,  was  accidentally  killed  near  the  depot.  The  boy  at- 
tempted to  jump  upon  a  handcar,  when  in  motion,  and  the  lever 
struck  him  on  the  head,  crushing  in  his  skull  and  killing  him 
almost  instantly. 

In  its  issue  of  December  1,  1868,  the  Democrat  contained  the 
following  item:  "Three  native  Americans — no  carpet-baggers — 
stopped  at  the  Central  House  in  this  place  last  night.  Two  of 
them  were  chiefs  of  the  Menominee  nation,  one  of  Avhich  killed 
five  Sioux  Indians  in  the  war  of  1862-63,  fighting  on  the  side  of 
the  whites.  He  has  five  marks  made  in  India  ink  upon  his  arm  to 
'designate  the  fact.'  The  tribe  lives  upon  the  Black  river,  in 
"Wisconsin.  These  chaps  have  been  out  west  trapping,  and  are 
now  returning  to  their  tribe.  They  are  very  large,  robust  men, 
capable  of  taking  care  of  a  large  amount  of  rations." 

The  Austin  Democrat,  February  23,  1869,  states  that  "genuine 
stone  coal  has  been  foimd  in  Mower  county."  In  that  issue  ap- 
pears the  following  article:  "Thomas  Smith,  of  "Windom  town- 
ship, in  this  county,  has  left  with  us  a  very  fair  sample  of  stone 
coal,  and  informs  us  that  he  has  taken  from  the  mine  which  he 
is  now  prospecting,  some  lumps  as  good  as  any  ever  taken  from 
a  Pennsylvania  coal  field.  ^NTr.  Smith  is  something  of  a  geologist, 
and  had  discovered  signs  of  coal  on  his  place,  in  the  bluff  along 
Rose  Creek,  some  time  since,  and  a  few  days  ago  determined  to 
investigate  the  matter  and  prospect  for  a  large  deposit  which  he 
had  reason  to  believe  existed  in  the  vicinity.  He  employed  an 
experienced  miner,  and  the  two  went  to  work,  tunneling  into  the 
bluff,  and  the  present  indications  are  that  a  rich  bed  of  coal  will 
soon  be  discovered.  Two  or  three  Aveeks  more  will  tell  the  story. 
The  importance  wliich  would  attend  the  discovery  of  an  exten- 
sive bed  of  coal  in  Windom,  lying  as  it  does,  in  the  center  of  a 
large  prairie  country,  could  not  be  overestimated.     *     * 

On  April  1,  1870,  Carl  Chanbery,  a  young  man  who,  the  pre- 
vious spring,  li;i(l  come  with  his  aged  mother  from  SAveden,  and 
settled  in  Austin,  Avas  drowiu'd  in  CcMlar  river. 

On  Sunday  afternoon,  .July  17,  1870,  David  Caswell,  a  iiroiii- 
inent  citizen  of  LeRoy,  left  his  residence  for  the  purpose  of  look- 
ing at  some  grass  land  nearly  a  quarter  of  a  mile  distant  on  the 
farm,  ;ni(l  as  w;is  soinctinics  bis  cusloni.  look  Avith  liiiii  a  double- 


barreled  shot  gun.  Later  in  the  day  his  dead  body  was  found 
with  a  shot  gun  wound  in  the  left  side,  with  every  indication  that 
the  gun  had  gone  off  while  he  was  in  the  act  of  loading  it. 

On  August  14,  1870,  a  Norwegian  named  Jens  Jenson,  about 
54  years  of  age,  who  lived  a  short  distance  from  Adams  station, 
committed  suicide  by  hanging  himself  in  a  grove. 

.  On  September  2,  1870,  John  Fredell,  a  Swede,  23  years  of 
age,  was  drowned  in  the  Cedar  river.  The  young  man  had  come 
from  INIinneapolis  about  three  Aveeks  before  his  death  and  had 
been  in  the  employ  of  the  railroad  company.  He  had  shown  un- 
mistakable signs  of  insanity. 

On  Monday,  February  13,  1871,  at  between  3  and  4  o'clock 
in  the  morning,  the  warehouse  of  Guns  &  Anderson,  at  Browns- 
dale,  was  discovered  to  be  on  fire.  The  flames  soon  reached  the 
warehouse  of  Mr.  Eowell,  and  the  building  was  entirely  de- 
stroyed. The  Avarehouse  of  Guns  &  Anderson  contained  6,000 
bushels  of  wheat,  3,300  bushels  of  flax  seed,  1,000  pounds  of  tow, 
about  1,000  grain  sacks,  a  fanning  mill,  and  the  articles  usually 
kept  about  a  grain  warehouse.  Nothing  at  all  was  saved  and 
tlieir  loss  Avas  about  $13,000,  Avhieh,  however,  Avas  fully  covered 
by  insurance.  Mr.  RoAvell's  Avarehouse  was  empty  at  the  time. 
The  total  loss  on  both  Avas  about  $15,000. 

On  February  20,  1871,  Austin  Avas  visited  by  a  disastrous  fire. 
At  about  1  o'clock  the  Fleck  House  Avas  discovered  to  be  on  fire, 
and  the  flames  spread  so  rapidly  that  it  was  impossible  to  save 
the  building.  There  were  about  sixty  persons  in  the  house  at 
the  time,  and  all  succeeded  in  making  their  escape.  The  property 
was  valued  at  $9,000,  including  the  grounds,  and  Avas  insured 
for  $3,500.  The  hotel  at  the  time  Avas  under  the  management  of 
George  Hay,  who  had  leased  it  and  taken  possession  about  ten 
days  prcAHous  to  the  time  of  the  fire.  The  fire  caught  from  a 
defective  flue. 

On  May  9,  1871,  a  fatal  accident  occurred  at  the  depot  of  the 
C,  M.  &  St.  P.  R.  R.  in  Au.stin,  resulting  in  the  death  of  "William 

On  December  27,  1875,  the  iron  foundry  belonging  to  Geo.  B. 
"Wright,  located  on  the  east  side,  Avas  burned  to  the  ground.  The 
cause  of  the  fire  Avas  unknoAvn.  The  building  and  contents  were 
a  total  loss  of  about  $10,000.  The  foundry  Avas  the  only  one  in 
the  city,  and  its  loss  not  only  fell  heavily  upon  its  owners  but 
upon  the  business  interests  of  Austia  as  Avell. 

On  the  morning  of  December  30,  1873,  tlie  building  on  the 
corner  of  Chatham  and  IMill  streets,  occupied  by  tlie  store  of 
the  Farmers  and  IMfchanics  Grocery  Association,  Avas  l)urned  to 
tho  ground.  A  portion  of  the  goods  Avas  removed.  Tlicre  Avas 
an  insurance  on  the  stock  of  $2,000. 


On  April  22,  1873,  Ole  Gordon,  of  Northwood,  Iowa,  was  in- 
stantly killed  while  grinding  plov>'s  in  the  shop  of  Seymour  John- 
son, in  Austin,  by  the  bursting  of  the  revolving  stone.  One  frag- 
ment weighing  nearly  500  pounds,  struck  the  unfortunate  man  in 
the  forehead,  at  the  corner  of  the  right  eye,  and  carried  away  a 
large  portion  of  his  skull  and  scattered  his  brains  over  the  entire 
room.  It  passed  through  one  end  of  the  building  and  struck  in 
the  street  some  sixty  feet  distant.  The  stone  was  entirely  new 
and,  as  far  as  could  then  be  discovered,  perfectly  sound.  It  Avas 
driven  by  horse  power,  and  at  no  more  than  the  usual  speed. 

The  month  of  January,  1877,  was  a  disastrous  one  in  Austin, 
three  fires  occurring  within  six  days.  The  first  of  these  took 
place  on  the  morning  of  January  13,  when  six  stores  and  one  shop 
were  cleaned  out,  the  historic  row  of  wooden  buildings,  long 
landmarks  in  Austin,  on  the  west  side  of  Main  street  being  laid 
in  ashes.  Buildings  on  the  east  side  of  the  street  were  also  dam- 
aged by  an  explosion  of  powder  in  one  of  the  burning  buildings. 
The  total  loss  was  about  $13,000,  the  firm  of  Hazelwood  &  Tuttle 
being  the  heaviest  losers.  On  the  same  day  a  dwelling  house  on 
Maple  street,  owned  by  C.  W.  Freeman  and  occupied  by  W.  D. 
Phillips,  was  entirely  consumed.  Four  days  later  three  frame 
buildings  on  the  corner  of  Mill  and  Chatham  streets,  owned  by 
A.  Matson,  were  destroyed. 

On  October  5,  1880,  Austin  M-as  visited  by  a  fire  that  laid  in 
Avaste  four  business  buildings  and  caused  a  loss  of  about  $24,000. 
F.  A.  Richardson,  dry  goods,  and  Fernald  &  Kimball,  furniture, 
were  the  heaviest  losers.  Others  who  lost  were  Ferd.  Kirchoil", 
meats:  Mrs.  R.  I.  Smith,  millinery;  J.  E.  Slocum,  sewing  machine 
agent;  Dr.  J.  N.  "Wheat;  L.  N.  Griffith;  J.  J.  Hayes  &  Bro.,  jew- 
elry: Clemmer  &  Pooler:  ]Mrs,  N.  C.  Mc^Iillan,  millinery;  Mrs. 
John  Morrison,  restaurant. 

The  Tenvperance  Leagues,  among  the  ladies,  were  powerful 
infiuences  toward  preserving  the  law  and  order  of  the  com- 
munity in  the  early  days.  In  writing  on  this  subject  in  1876,  Mi-s. 
R.  L.  Kimball. said: 

Til"  crusade  against  whisky  began  in  Austin  in  the  winter  of 
IS'iG.  At  that  time  not  a  saloon  was  to  be  foiuid  in  the  place,  but 
at  some  of  the  stores  intoxicants  could  be  purchased.  Accord- 
ingly tlie  women  started  a  crusade  and  threatened  to  boycoit 
merchants  who  sold  strong  drinks.  To  this  agreement  thirty- 
two  ladies — at  that  time  all  but  three  of  them  lady  residents  of 
Austin — subscribed  their  names.  Twenty-eight  of  these  names 
liave  been  preserved,  and  arc  as  follows:  Imogene  A.  Kimball, 
Hattie  A.  Adams,  Ilainiali  E.  Leveiich,  Jennett  W.  Cook,  Julia 
A.  Wheat,  Triphcna  Griffith,  Lucy  L.  Wheeler,  Bettie  M.  Vande- 
grift.   Eleanor   Biiiiis,   Sai-ah    Iv   l^cmis,    Cornelia   Benson,   'Mary 


Ann  H.  Decker,  Amanda  Adams,  Elizabeth  Brown,  Mary  Mc- 
Daniels,  Eunice  L.  Smith,  Lois  Brown,  Martha  L.  Sanford,  Emma 
Allen,  Almeda  E.  Allen,  Mary  A.  Colwell,  Eliza  A.  Allen,  ]\Iaria 
M.  Everest,  Mary  A.  Padden,  Naomi  M.  Revord,  Harriet  Ferris, 
Eliza  A.  McKinley,  Elizabeth  Tubbs.  The  merchants  were  then 
■visited  and  asked  to  pledge  themselves  not  to  sell  liquors.  Three 
signatures  were  obtained,  Rufus  L.  Kimball,  W.  I.  Brown,  and 
Aloysius  Brown.  In  1857,  a  Ladies'  Temperance  Society  was  or- 
ganized by  ]Mrs.  ,1.  L.  Davidson 

The  Father  i\ratthew  Temperance  Society  was  organized  Feb- 
ruary 5,  1871,  with  eighteen  charter  members.  February  19,  they 
decided  to  celebrate  St.  Patrick's  Day,  and  appointed  a  committee 
to  make  arrangements.  The  committee  deciding  to  have  a  ban- 
ner called  on  the  printers  but  failed  to  obtain  satisfactory  samples 
for  even  a  temporary  article.  Mrs.  W.  I.  Brown's  proposal  to 
embroider  one,  with  green  silk  on  white  merino,  was  accepted, 
and  work  commenced.  They  were  soon  out  of  silk  and  sent  a 
sample  to  St.  Paul,  but  found  none  there.  A  few  skeins  were 
found  in  IMcGregor,  but  not  enough.  Luckily,  Mrs.  Oscar  Ayers 
had  enough  to  complete  it.  The  committee  found  it  necessary  to 
employ  all  the  ladies  they  could  to  get  it  completed  in  time,  and 
their  fingers  w^rought  on  each  successive  letter  until  the  "Father 
Matthew  Temperance  Society  of  Aiistin"  was  complete.  Mrs. 
L.  A.  Sherwood  was  among  these  ladies.  At  the  first  annual  con- 
vention held  in  St.  Paul,  February  12,  1872,  the  society  joined 
the  state  union  wdth  only  eight  members.  The  majority  of  those 
lost  were  by  resignation  or  non-payment  of  dues,  and  not  for 
violation  of  pledge,  which  has  been  the  case  up  to  this  time.  At 
the  second  convention  the  society  won  the  Gold  Medal  for  having 
gained  the  greatest  percentage  of  membership  of  any  society  in 
the  State,  being  100  per  cent.  At  the  third  convention,  held  at 
Winona,  May  6,  1874,  the  society  had  seventy-five  members,  l)ut 
lost  the  medal,  it  being  won  by  Father  Ostar's  Society  of  Belle 
Plaine.  At  th"""  fourth  convention,  in  Faribault,  June  18,  1875, 
Austin  reported  sixty-eight  membei-s.  The  Catholic  church  at 
Austin  has  still  a  strong  Total  Abstinence  Society. 

The  Sewing  Societies  of  Austin  have  always  been  an  impor- 
tant factor  in  its  charitable  and  social  life.  In  1876,  ^Irs.  "\V.  AV. 
Brownson  spoke  as  follows  in  regard  to  those  at  that  time  in 
existence : 

One  can  scarcely  estimate  all  that  has  Ix-cii  accomplished 
and  all  we  enjoy  today  that  has  been  obtained  through  the  perse- 
vering efforts  of  little  bands  of  ladies  in  our  different  churches, 
known  and  often  spoken  of  derisively  as  sewing  societies.  To 
them  is  due  the  credit  of  many  of  t!io  comfortable  surroundings 
of  our  churches,   the  result   of  sonicthing  very   different    from 


gossip.  Tn  early  times,  Avhile  men  were  anxiously  planning  and 
toiling  to  secure  comparatively  comfortable  homes  for  their  fam- 
ilies, and  provide  houses  of  worship,  their  wives  and  daughters 
were  not  idle.  They  organized  sewing  societies  with  good  re- 
sults. The  ladies  of  the  Methodist  church  organized  the  first  one 
in  Austin,  jNIay  17,  1865,  since  which  time  it  has  furnished  $1,500 
of  the  money  raised  by  the  society  for  church  erection  and  char- 
itable purposes. 

June  12,  1865,  the  ladies  of  the  Baptist  church  organized  their 
sewing  society,  and  in  less  than  two  years  it  raised  and  paid  .$125 
of  the  expense  of  the  bell  to  their  chux-ch  edifice  .and  other  pur- 

November  8,  1865,  the  ladies  of  the  Congregational  church  or- 
ganized their  sewing  society,  which  has  contributed  about  $2,200 
to  the  charitable  and  other  objects  of  the  church.  A  Circle  of 
Industry,  belonging  to  the  church,  has  also  raised  $550  to  apply 
on  the  purchase  of  the  bell. 

The  Busy  Bees,  a  society  of  children,  organized  in  the  fall  of 
1874,  for  the  purchase  of  chandeliers  for  the  church,  have  raised, 
through  public  entertainments  and  fairs,  $40. 

In  1868  the  ladies'  sewing  society  of  the  Presbyterian  church 
was  organized,  but  there  are  no  records  of  its  Avork  until  1870, 
between  which  time  and  May,  1873,  it  raised  for  church  purjioses 
$330.    Since  then  the  sewing  society  has  had  no  existence. 

In  1865  the  ladies  of  the  Episcopal  church  organized  their 
society,  which  has  since  had  a  vigorous  existence,  but  no  records 
have  been  kept,  and  I  am  unable  to  give  results. 

The  Universalist  sewing  society  was  organized  in  1868,  and 
has  earned  $360. 

The  Universalist  Sunday  School  Gleaners,  a  society  organized 
in  1875,  for  the  purchase  of  a  Snbbath  School  library,  have  raised 
$60  toward  their  object. 

The  ladies  of  the  Lutheran  church,  soon  after  its  organiza- 
tion, organized  a  sewing  society,  which  existed  about  a  year  and 
a  half.  They  raised  $75,  Avhieli  Avas  paid  toward  the  debt  of  the 





Incorporation  of  the  Village  in  1868 — Incorporated  as  a  City- 
Changes  in  Charter— Elective  and  Appointed  Officers  Who 
Have  Served  the  Mvinicipality— Important  Acts  of  the  Suc- 
cessive Councils — Home  Rule  Charter  Adopted— Edited  by 
John  H.  Skinner. 

In  the  early  part  of  1868,  the  people  living  in  the  hamlet  of 
Austin  began  to  feel  the  need  of  a  government  other  than  the 
supervisor  system  under  Avhieh  hamlet  and  township  in  common 
had  been  existing.  Consequently  a  petition  was  circulated 
among  the  citizens  and  presented  to  the  legislature,  asking  for  a 
village  government.  There  being  no  real  opposition  to  the 
measure  the  act  was  passed  IMarch  6,  1868,  and  a  tract  of  laud 
taking  in  the  hamlet  and  lying  west  of  the  Red  Cedar  river  in 
tlie  north-central  part  of  the  township  was  duly  set  aside  and  in- 
corporated as  the  village  of  Austin. 

The  act  provided  that  Tyler  W.  AYoodward,  William  L.  Aus- 
tin and  Jeremiah  B.  Yates  should  act  as  .judges  of  the  election, 
which  was  ordered  to  be  held  May  5.  The  charter  authorized 
the  election  of  a  mayor,  a  recorder,  an  assessor,  a  justice  of  the 
peace  who  should  be  village  justice  and  three  aldermen.  The 
aldermen  and  mayor  were  to  appoint  a  treasurer,  a  marshal,  an 
overseer  for  each  of  road  districts  into  which  the  village  should 
be  divided,  an  attorney  and  a  village  surveyor. 

At  that  time  factional  feeling  ran  high  in  city  and  county 
and  a  fusion  ticket,  proposed  by  some  of  the  more  conservative 
minds,  did  not  materialize.  Instead,  there  were  two  Republican 
and  one  Democratic  ticket  in  the  field.  One  Republican  party, 
which  will  be  here  designated  as  the  independent  Republican 
party,  held  a  caucus  without  having  published  a  formal  call,  and 
nominated  a  ticket.  Another  faction,  which  will  be  here  desig- 
nated as  the  regular  Republicans,  held  a  meeting  in  pursuance 
to  a  call,  and  nominated  a  ticket,  taking  W.  L.  Austin  from  the 
independent  ticket  and  placing  him  in  nomination  as  mayor,  and 
also  borrowing  the  name  of  Seymour  Johnson  from  the  independ- 
ent ticket  and  nominating  him  as  alderman.  The  independents 
then  informally  nominated  two  other  candidates  for  aldermen  to 
take  the  place  of  the  IMessrs.  Austin  and  Jolinson.  The  Dein- 
oerats  nominated  a  regular  ticket. 

The  Republicnii  party,  wliich  liad  llio  majority  of  votes  in 
the  city,  being  tluis   split,   hist   tlic   cUTtion.     There   were  some 


charges  of  fraud,  it  being  alleged  that  many  of  those  voting  were 
railroad  men  who  were  not,  in  the  strict  meaning  of  the  word, 
residents  of  Austin.  G.  M.  Cameron  was  elected  mayor.  W.  L. 
Austin,  the  regular  Republican,  received  126  votes  and  Dr.  0. 
W.  Gibson,  the  independent  Republican,  received  fifty-six.  B.  J. 
VanValkenburgh,  with  166  votes,  and  J.  B.  Yates,  with  159  votes, 
were  elected  aldermen.  C.  C.  Hunt,  with  150  votes,  was  tied  with 
Jacob  Johnson  for  alderman,  with  150  votes.  Of  the  other  two 
regular  Republicans,  E.  P.  VanValkenburgh  received  137  votes 
and  Seymour  Johnson  125.  Of  the  independent  Republicans,  H. 
AV.  Page  received  sixty-two  votes.  C.  M.  Fernald,  forty-three,  and 
A.  Matson,  thirty-nine.  For  recorder,  George  Baird,  Republican, 
received  155  votes  and  L.  R.  Hathaway,  Democrat,  188,  the  latter 
being  elected.  E.  Maloney,  Democrat,  was  elected  assessor  with 
161  votes,  against  J.  C.  Ackley,  regular  Republican,  avIio  received 
118  votes,  and  J.  F.  Atherton,  independent  Republican,  who  re-' 
ceived  sixty-two.  L.  N.  Griffith,  Democrat,  Avas  elected  village 
iind  civil  justice,  with  166  votes.  C.  J.  Shortt,  regular  Repub- 
lican, received  135,  and  Robert  Mathes,  independent  Republican, 
received  thirty-two.  The  Democrats  thus  appear  to  have  won 
out  for  every  office.  A  A-ote  was  also  cast  for  civil  justice  and 
constables,  though  no  provision  for  such  election  was  made  in 
the  charter. 

The  first  meeting  of  the  Austin  village  council  was  held  in  the 
law  office  of  Cameron  &  Johnson,  ]\Iay  16,  1868.  The  council  was 
called  to  order  by  Mayor  Cameron,  and  Aldermen  B.  J.  Van 
Valkenburgh  and  J.  B.  Yates  were  present.  By  reason  of  the 
tie  vote,  the  office  of  the  third  alderman  was  declared  unfilled, 
and  the  appointment  of  Jacob  Johnson  Avas  made  to  fill  the  va- 
cancy, wliereupon  Mr.  Johnson  took  his  seat.  The  folloAving  ap- 
pointments Avere  made:  Treasurer,  "William  T.  Brown;  attorney, 
A.  S.  Everest;  surveyor,  D.  B.  Johnson;  marshal,  Carlos  Fenton. 
The  road  overseers  Avere  selected  as  folloAvs:  1,  east  of  Main 
street,  W.  T.  Manderville;  2,  south  of  Maple  and  Avest  of  IMain ; 
8,  north  of  Maple  and  AA'est  of  j\Iain,  James  Kennevan.  Fire 
limits  Avere  established,  and  a  lock-up  provided  for. 

In  1868,  about  the  time  of  incorporation,  the  Aallage  contained 
six  churches,  two  schoolhouses,  one  of  Avhich  was  a  brick  struc- 
ture, costing  about  $6,000,  two  newspapers,  nine  dry  goods  stores, 
four  grocery  stores,  three  drug  stores,  four  hardware  stores,  tAVO 
clotliing  stores,  one  book  store,  two  confectionery  stores,  three 
boot  and  shoe  stores,  four  millinery  stores,  tAvo  jcAvelry  stores,  four 
fiour  and  feed  stores,  and  one  agricultural  store.  In  the  manufac- 
turing line  there  Avere  one  ploAV  manufactory,  one  foundry  and 
machine  shop,  one  planing  mill,  one  sash  and  blind  factory,  one 
steam  saAvmill,  three  flouring  mills,  three  brick  yards,  four  lum- 


ber  yards,  one  carriage  shop  and  two  furniture  manufactories. 
There  were  also  two  livery  stables,  three  restaurants  and  three 
billiard  halls.  Already  four  large  business  blocks  had  been  built. 
There  were  six  tloui-ishing  churches,  one  Masonic  lodge,  one  lodge 
of  Odd  Fellows  and  two  bodies  of  Good  Templars.  11.  W.  Page 
had  a  bank  here,  three  good  hotels  were  in  operation,  and  the 
C.,  M.  &  St.  Paul  was  still  the  only  railroad,  although  there  were 
rumors  of  many  others. 

In  1869  an  amendment  to  the  charter  passed  the  legislature, 
providing,  among  other  changes,  for  the  election  by  the  people  of  a 
maj'or,  recorder,  assessor,  justice  of  the  peace  who  should  be 
village  justice,  two  other  justices  of  the  peace,  a  marshal,  a  city 
treasurer,  and  three  aldermen.  A  road  overseer,  a  village  attor- 
ney and  a  village  surveyor  were  to  be  appointed. 

At  the  election  of  1869,  two  tickets  were  presented.  The 
People's  Reform  ticket  Avas  largely  a  temperance  move,  while 
the  opposition  party  called  itself  the  Citizens"  Union  ticket.  W. 
L.  Ausli.i  headed  the  People's  Reform  ticket,  P.  B.  Basford  Avas 
nominated  for  mayor  on  the  Citizens'  Union  ticket,  and  John  F. 
Cook  was  the  rallying  point  of  those  w^ho  favored  neither  of 
these  parties.  AA'ith  two  exceptions,  the  entire  People's  Reform 
ticket  was  elected  as  follows :  Mayor,  "W.  L.  Austin ;  aldermen, 
A.  J  Phelps,  J.  S.  Day  and  Orlenzer  Allen;  recorder,  L.  Boure- 
gard ;  treasurer,  Stephen  M.  Darrah ;  marshal,  Ilenrj^  J.  Gillham 
(Gillham  ran  on  the  Citizens'  Union  ticket  and  defeated  Andrew 
Knox);  assessor,  E.  Maloney;  ''city  and  civil  justice,"  C.  L. 
Chase:  "civil  justice,"  J.  H.  MeClentic  (McClentic  ran  on  the 
Citizens'  Union  ticket  and  defeated  AY.  L.  Manderville  of  the 
People's  Refoi'm  ticket  and  B.  J.  Jones,  who  ran  independently). 
The  charter  of  the  village  provided  for  the  election  of  a  village 
justice  and  tAvo  justices  of  the  peace,  and  it  will  be  seen  that 
neither  the  designation  nor  the  number  of  justices  elected  agreed 
Avith  the  charter.  A  village  surveyor  and  constables  were  also 
voted  for,  although  there  Avas  no  proA'ision  for  such  balloting  in 
•  the  charter,  and  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  it  had  expressly  been 
proA'ided  that  the  A'illage  surA'cyor  should  be  appointed  and  not 
elected.  E.  D.  Fenton  and  George  Litchfield  Avere  the  tAvo  receiv- 
ing votes  for  the  office  of  constable,  and  S.  Burke  Aviis  tlie  only 
one  A'oted  for  as  A-illage  surveyor.  The  council,  at  its  first  meet- 
ing, shoAved  a  like  disregard  for  the  charter,  Avhen  three  road 
overseers  instead  of  one  Avere  appointed  as  follows:  1.  J.  F.  Key- 
ser;  2,  A.  S.  Hall;  3,  J.  C.  Smith.  D.  B.  Johnson.  Jr.,  was  ap- 
pointed attorney.  Later  McClentic  Avas  replaced  by  "\Y.  T.  Man- 
derA'ille  as  "Civil  Justice,"  Hall  AA^as  replaced  by  O.  W.  Firkins 
as  road  overseer  of  district  No.  2 ;  and  D.  B.  Johnson.  Jr.,  Avas  re- 
placed hy  A.  S.  Everest  as  attorney.    January  18,  1870,  Orlenzer 


Allen  resigned  as  alderman  and  was  replaced  by  W.  W.  Brown- 
son,  and  on  July  3,  1870,  Sylvester  Smith  took  the  place  of  Alder- 
man Day,  who  also  resigned. 

In  1870  the  charter  was  still  further  amended.  It  was  pro- 
vided that  the  village  limits  should  be  all  of  section  3,  the  north- 
west quarter  of  section  2,  and  the  Avest  half  of  the  west  half  of  the 
northwest  quarter  of  section  2,  all  in  township  102,  range  18. 
It  was  also  provided  that  there  should  be  elected  a  mayor,  three 
aldermen,  two  justices  of  the  peace  (to  serve  for  two  years),  a 
recorder,  an  assessor,  a  treasurer,  and  two  constables  (to  serve 
for  two  years).  The  marshal,  the  attorney  and  the  road  over- 
seer were  to  be  appointed  by  the  council. 

The  election  of  1870  resulted  in  a  victory  of  a  Union  ticket 
over  the  Republican  and  Independent  tickets,  the  entire  Union 
ticket,  with  the  exception  of  one  constable,  being  elected  as  fol- 
lows :  Mayor,  J.  F.  Cook ;  aldermen,  W.  ^A^.  Brownson,  P.  B.  Bas- 
f ord  and  H.  S.  Smith ;  recorder,  John  AA'alsh ;  treasurer,  I.  A. 
Wood;  assessor,  R.  I.  Smith;  justices,  A.  J.  Phelps  and  W.  H. 
Merrick;  constables,  0.  J.  Johnson  (Republican)  and  T.  K. 
Kaiser.  The  council  appointed  G.  M.  Cameron,  village  attorney; 
John  Minette,  marshal;  H.  L.  Percival,  road  overseer.  I.  A. 
Wood  died  October  11,  and  G.  G.  Clemmer  was  named  in  his  place 
as  village  treasurer. 

In  1871,  the  Adllage  received  practically  a  new  charter.  The 
people  were  to  elect  six  aldermen,  three  justices  of  the  peace, 
three  constables  and  one  assessor.  The  six  aldermen,  who  were 
to  represent  the  three  wards  into  which  the  village  was  divided, 
were  to  appoint  a  president,  a  recorder  and  a  treasurer  from 
their  own  number,  and  in  addition  to  this  Avere  to  name  road 
overseers,  attorney,  marshal  and  printer. 

For  the  first  time,  the  election  Avas  held  in  each  of  the  three 
Avards.  In  the  first  Avard,  Avhere  three  tickets,  Citizens',  Repub- 
lican and  Democratic,  were  presented,  the  Citizens'  ticket  Avon, 
and  Sylvester  Smith  and  L.  N.  Griffith  Avere  elected  aldermen. 
In  the  second  Avard  the  Democratic  candidates,  H.  J.  Gillham 
and  J.  H.  C.  Huxhold,  Avon  against  the  Republican  candidates. 
In  the  third  ward  the  Republicans  Avon  out  against  the  Dem- 
ocrats and  elected  E.  W.  Kells  and  Charles  Cook.  William  Rich- 
ards, Democrat,  was  elected  assessor.  At  the  organization  of  the 
council,  Sylvester  Smith  Avas  appointed  president,  L.  N.  Grif- 
fith, recorder,  and  H.  J.  Gillham,  treasurer.  The  folloAving  ap- 
pointments were  also  made :    Road  oA^erseers :    1,  T.  Hinchey ;  2, 

BreAver ;  3,  R.  J.  Tyler ;  attorney,  G.  M.  Cameron ;  mar- 

slial,  Carlos  Fenton.  During  the  year,  Kells  resigned  as  alder- 
man, and  on  December  1,  1871,  his  place  Avas  taken  by  T.  W. 


In  3872,  the  charter  was  again  amended.  The  amendment 
took  the  appointive  power  practically  ont  of  the  hands  of  the 
council.  The  people  were  to  elect  six  aldermen,  three  justices  of 
the  peace,  three  constables,  one  assessor,  one  street  commissioner, 
one  village  attorney  and  three  road  overseers,  while  the  coun- 
cil was  to  select  from  its  own  numbers  a  president,  a  recorder 
and  a  treasurer. 

The  election  was  devoid  of  much  of  the  discord  that  had  char- 
acterized the  previous  selection  of  officers.  A  straight  Republican 
ticket  was  placed  in  nomination  against  Citizens',  People's  and 
Democratic  tickets.  The  following  officers  were  elected:  At 
large:  J.  M.  Greenman ;  assessor,  D.  J.  Tubbs;  street  commis- 
sioner, J.  B.  Yates.  First  ward,  aldermen,  G.  G.  Clemmer  and 
Seymour  Johnson ;  justice  of  the  peace,  W.  H.  Merrick ;  constable, 
W.  B.  Graham;  road  overseer,  Thomas  Hinchy.  Second  ward, 
aldermen,  H.  J.  Gillham  and  J.  H.  C.  Huxhold  (Huxhold,  W.  T. 
AVilkins  and  N.  K.  Noble  were  tied,  but  upon  the  casting  of  lots 
the  choice  fell  iipon  Huxhold)  ;  justice  of  the  peace,  T.  W.  Wood- 
ard;  constable,  James  Konkel;  road  overseer,  Patrick  Garaghty. 
Third  ward,  aldermen,  W.  W.  BroAvnson  and  G.  L.  Seofield ;  jus- 
tice of  the  peace.  Jesse  Rose;  constable,  John  Minette ;  road  over- 
seer, Thomas  Hinchy.  The  only  ones  elected  on  the  straight 
Republicaji  ticket  were  Rose,  Clemmer  and  Whipple.  Brownson, 
Seofield  and  Minette  were  elected  on  a  straight  Democratic 
ticket.  The  others  were  elected  on  People's  or  Citizens'  tickets, 
or  in  the  ease  of  the  three  officers  at  large,  on  a  combined  Dem- 
ocratic, People's  and  Citizens'  ticket.  At  the  organization  of  the 
council,  G.  G.  Clemmer  was  made  president;  Seymour  Johnson, 
recorder,  and  "W.  W.  Brownson,  treasurer.  Mr.  Clemmer  re- 
signed July  22,  and  his  place  was  taken  by  A.  J.  Phelps ;  Mr. 
Seofield  resigned  April  22,  and  his  place  Avas  taken  by  F.  A. 

February  23,  1873,  the  village  charter  was  amended  in  several 
particulars,  and  the  word  "city"  substituted  throughout  for 
"village."  Each  ward  was  to  have  three  aldermen,  one  con- 
stable and  one  overseer  of  roads.  There  were  to  be  elected  at 
large  a  city  recorder,  a  city  treasurer,  a  street  commissioner,  a 
city  attorney  and  a  city  assessor. 

Two  tickets  were  in  the  field,  one  put  up  by  tlio  Republicans 
and  the  other  by  a  mixture  of  Democrats  and  Republicans,  called 
the  People's  ticket.  The  latter  was  victorious,  witli  the  excep- 
tion of  one  alderman  eacli,  in  the  second  and  third  wards  respec- 
tively, and  the  city  attorney.  These  candidates  were  tied  in  the 
returns,  but  as  two  votes  had  been  cast  for  T.  '^L  Hawkins  the. 
judges  decided  to  regard  the  intention,  and  counted  these  votes 
in  favor  of  I.  N.  Hawkins,  giving  him  the  election  by  two  votes 


over  J.  X.  Greenman.  The  ticket  elected  follows :  At  large:  At- 
torney, I.  N.  Hawkins ;  treasurer,  W.  T.  Wilkins ;  recorder,  0.  H. 
Shepley;  assessor,  D.  T.  Tubbs;  street  commissioner,  C.  P.  Ken- 
yon.  First  ward,  aldermen,  P.  0.  French,  A.  Frederick  and  C.  N. 
Beiseker ;  road  overseer,  Geo.  B.  Morse ;  constable,  Knut  Good- 
son.  Second  Avard,  aldermen,  Peter  Gies,  D.  B.  Smith  and  H.  A. 
Fairbanks;  road  overseer,  P.  Geraghty.  Third  ward,  aldermen, 
J.  H.  Benson,  L.  B.  Abbott  and  J.  H.  Totten ;  justice  of  the  peace, 
John  Houk ;  road  overseer,  A.  Whipple ;  constable,  John  Minette. 
It  will  be  seen  that  only  the  third  ward  voted  for  a  justice,  and 
practically  only  the  third  ward  for  constable,  Mr.  Goodson  re- 
ceiving but  six  votes.  The  council  selected  D.  B.  Smith  as  presi- 
dent. J.  H.  Totten  resigned  October  6,  and  his  place  was  filled 
November  4,  by  T.  F.  Armstrong ;  0.  H.  Shepley  resigned  October 
6  and  his  place  was  filled  November  4,  by  Russ  B.  Davis;  Isaac 
N.  Hawkins  resigned  October  13,  and  his  place  was  filled  Novem- 
ber 4,  by  G.  M.  Cameron. 

In  1874  and  1875  there  were  no  changes  in  the  city  charter. 

In  1874,  two  tickets  were  in  the  field.  One  was  designated  as 
the  ''Anti-Monopolists'  "  and  the  other  as  the  "People's."  In 
the  third  ward,  the  former  party  only  was  in  the  field,  though 
there  were  several  independent  candidates  in  the  field  in  that 
ward.  A  preconcerted  efi^ort  was  made  throughout  the  city  to  de- 
feat the  Anti-Monopolists'  candidates  for  justice  of  the  peace  in 
all  the  wards,  but  the  cfi'ort  Avas  successful  only  in  the  second 
Avard,  where  R.  I.  Smith  defeated  T.  ^Y.  Woodard.  The  ticket 
elected  Avas  as  folloAvs :  Recorder,  R.  B.  Davis ;  city  attorney,  G. 
M.  Cameron ;  city  assessor,  "William  Richards ;  city  treasurer,  C. 
W.  Austin;  street  commissioner,  Christian  Johnson;  aldermen, 
-John  F.  Cook,  Seymour  Johnson  and  B.  F.  Morgan ;  J.  C.  Kaiser, 
R.  N.  Paden  and  D.  B.  Smith ;  J.  F.  Atherton,  John  Bache  and 
John  Varger ;  justices  of  the  peace  L.  N.  Griffith,  R.  I.  Smith  and 
J.  S.  Putnam ;  constables,  "William  Olson,  George  Martin  and  John 
Minette ;  road  overseers ;  R.  J.  Tyler,  P.  Geraghty  and  J.  Gal- 
lagher. Bache  resigned  and  Varger  did  not  qualify.  An  election 
was  held  April  17  to  fill  the  vacancies,  and  Thomas  Meany  and 
C.  B.  Slade  Avere  elected.  The  president  of  the  council  this  year 
Avas  D.  B.  Smith. 

In  1875,  the  folloAving  officers  Avere  elected:  Recorder,  Robert 
Griffith;  city  attorney,  John  T.  Carey;  treasurer,  Rudolph  Dun- 
kelman ;  assessor,  John  Walsh ;  street  commissioner,  John  F. 
Cook ;  aldermen,  R.  0.  French,  0.  E.  Anderson,  A.  Friedrich ;  E. 
C.  Dorr,  F.  J.  Mayhew,  D.  B.  Smith,  Michael  Collins,  Charles  B. 
Slade,  D.  G.  Wachlin ;  road  overseers,  S.  Gates,  Patrick  Geraghty, 
Patrick  Conlon:  constable,  C.  H.  Gatfield. 

Till'   iiicorporntiou    of   tbe   city   of  Austin    really   dates   from 


February  28,  1876,  although  the  name  "city"  had  been  used 
since  1873.  The  new  city  charter  described  the  limits  of  the  city 
as  follows:  The  north  half  of  section  3;  all  the  south  half  of 
section  3  lying  west  of  the  Cedar  river ;  all  that  part  of  the  south- 
west quarter  of  section  2,  surveyed  and  platted  as  part  of  Bal- 
com's  addition  to  the  village  of  Austin;  the  northwest  quarter 
of  section  2 ;  and  the  west  half  of  the  northeast  quarter  of  section 
2,  all  in  tOAvnship  102,  north  of  range  18,  west.  There  were  to  be 
tliree  wards,  one  on  the  west  side  of  the  Red  Cedar,  and  two  on 
the  east  side,  divided  by  the  center  line  of  Bridge  and  Center 
streets.  There  Avere  to  be  elected  a  mayor,  treasurer,  recorder 
and  one  assessor,  at  large ;  and  from  each  ward,  two  aldermen, 
one  justice  of  the  peace  and  one  constable. 

The  election  took  place  March  12.  Not  for  several  years  had 
there  been  exhibited  so  great  an  interest  in  a  local  election. 
There  were  two  tickets  in  the  field,  the  People's  and  the  Repub- 
lican. In  the  first  and  third  wards  the  former  ticket  won  out, 
while  in  the  second  the  latter  triumphed,  with  the  exception  of 
the  constable.  W.  T.  Wilkins,  the  candidate  for  treasurer  on 
the  People's  ticket,  threw  his  influence  on  the  side  of  the  oppos- 
ing candidate,  but  even  then  was  defeated  by  but  one  vote.  The 
following  were  elected,  all  being  on  the  People's  ticket  unless 
otherwise  indicated.  At  large :  !Mayor,  P.  0.  French ;  assessor, 
William  Richards  (Republican)  ;  recorder,  Robert  Griffith  (no 
opposition)  ;  treasurer,  R.  Dunkelman.  First  ward,  Joseph 
Schwan,  H.  E.  Anderson,  aldermen;  L.  N.  Griffith,  justice; 
Thomas  Riley  (independent),  constable.  Second  ward,  E.  P. 
VanValkenburgh,  Oscar  Ayers  (both  Republican),  aldermen:  T. 
"W.  Woodard  (Republican),  justice;  James  Konkle,  constable. 
Third  ward,  Thomas  Meany.  Lewis  Beckel,  aldermen;  J.  S.  Put- 
nam, justice;  John  iMinette,  constable.  The  office  of  Lewis 
Beckel  was  taken  in  January,  1877,  by  C.  C.  Kinsman.  Patrick 
Geraghty  was  appointed  street  commissioner  and  Thomas  Riley, 
chief  of  police. 

The  election  of  1877  was  cjuiet,  and  while  there  were  two 
tickets  in  the  field,  the  candidates  for  most  of  the  important  of- 
fices were  identical  on  both  sides.  In  the  second  ward,  Joseph 
Reinsmith  and  E.  J.  Phillips  wc-re  tied  for  alderman,  and  by  lot 
the  choice  fell  on  the  former.  It  was  also  found  that  the  electors 
had  made  a  mistake  in  the  middle  initial  of  C.  A.  Pooler,  but 
that  matter  was  also  satisfactorily  settled.  The  following  officers 
were  elected:  ^Mayor,  E.  C.  Dorr;  treasurer,  C.  A.  Pooler;  as- 
sessor, Robert  ^McDonald :  recorder.  Robert  Griffith ;  aldermen 
first  ward.  George  H.  "Wilbour;  second  ward,  Joseph  Reinsmitii : 
third  ward,  C.  C.  Kinsman.  Aldermen  Schwan,  VanValkenburgh 
{<nd  ]Meany  held  over  from  the  previous  year. 


In  1878  the  question  of  license  and  no  license  was  the  principal 
issue,  the  temperance  people  winning  out  on  the  no  license  propo- 
sition by  a  vote  of  406  to  155.  Republican  and  Democratic  tick- 
ets were  in  the  field.  In  the  following  list  of  officers  the  word 
"Union"  does  not  signify  a  Union  ticket,  but  indicates  that  the 
candidate  mentioned  was  nominated  on  both  tickets :  Mayor,  E. 
P.  VanValkenburgh  (Union)  ;  recorder,  Robert  Griffith  (Union)  ; 
treasurer,  C.  A.  Pooler  (Republican)  ;  assessor,  Oscar  Ayers  (Re- 
publican). First  ward,  aldermen,  J.  B.  Yates  (Democrat);  jus- 
tice, L.  N.  Griffith  (Democrat)  ;  constable,  Thomas  Riley  (Union). 
Second  ward,  aldermen,  James  McGrath  (Union)  ;  justice,  N.  K. 
Noble  (Republican);  constable,  R.  J.  McDonald  (Republican). 
Third  Avard,  aldermen,  Thomas  Meany  (Democrat)  ;  justice, 
Jesse  Rose  (Republican)  :  constable,  John  Minette  (Democrat). 
Aldermen  "\Yilboiir,  Reinsmith  and  Kinsman  held  over  from  the 
preAdous  year.  J.  B.  Yates  retired  October  21,  1878,  and  his 
place  was  taken  by  Seymour  Johnson.  Joseph  Reinsmith  re- 
tired the  same  date  and  his  office  was  filled  by  E.  C.  Dorr.  Pat- 
rick Geraghty,  wlio  was  appointed  street  commissioner,  resigned 
July  1,  and  his  place  Avas  taken  by  J.  Woodard.  Thomas  Riley 
Avas  chief  of  police. 

In  1879  the  city  Avent  back  to  the  license  plan,  the  vote  being 
283  to  239.  The  People's  ticket  Avas  Adctorious,  AAath  the  excep- 
tion of  one  instance  in  the  second  Avard,  AA'here  H.  W.  Page,  the 
temperance  candidate,  Avon  out  over  W.  L.  Hollister.  The  entire 
list  of  officers  for  the  year  1879  is  as  folloAVs:  Mayor,  H.  B. 
Ball;  aldermen,  Seymour  Johnson  (held  OA^er),  George  E.  "Wil- 
bour,  James  McGrath  (held  over),  Harlan  "VY.  Page,  Thomas 
Meany  (held  over),  and  Jacob  Weisel;  recorder,  Robert  Griffith; 
treasurer,  C.  A.  Pooler;  assessor,  Oscar  Ayers;  street  commis- 
sioner, T.  K.  Keyser ;  chief  of  police,  Thomas  Riley. 

In  1880,  the  officers  of  the  city  were  as  folloAvs :  Mayor,  H.  B. 
Ball ;  treasurer.  Fay  R.  Smith  :  recorder,  Robert  Griffith ;  assessor, 
E.  D.  Fenton ;  aldermen,  Peter  Gies,  E.  J.  Phillips,  A.  Fairbanks ; 
justices,  L.  N.  Griffith,  N.  K.  Noble,  E.  H.  Gerard;  constables, 
Thomas  Riley,  James  Konkle,  John  IMinette.  The  vote  in  favor 
of  license  Avas  249  to  180.  The  hold-over  aldermen  w^ere  George 
E.  Wilbour,  Harlan  W.  Page  and  Jacob  "Weisel.  The  place  of  A. 
Fairbanks  Avas  taken  by  D.  J.  Ames,  May  7,  1880.  Patrick 
Geraghty  was  appointed  street  commissioner  and  Thomas  Riley 
chief  of  police. 

In,  1881,  the  Republican  ticket  Avas  elected  throughout,  Avith 
the  exception  of  one  alderman  in  the  first  Avard,  George  W.  Fish 
being  elected  over  George  E.  Wilbour.  The  complete  list  of  of- 
ficers follows:  'Mayor.  E.  C.  Dorr:  recorder,  Robert  Griffith; 
treasurer.  F.  R.  Smitli ;  assessor,  Josepli  Adams:  aldermen,  George 


W.  Fish,  R.  0.  Hall,  Jacob  Weisel.  Vote  in  favor  of  court  house 
bonds,  398  to  14;  vote  in  favor  of  license,  246  to  106.  Alderineu 
Gies,  Phillips  and  Ames  held  over.  The  street  commissioner  and 
chief  of  police  were  the  same  as  during  the  previous  year. 

In  1882,  the  following  officers  were  elected:  Mayor,  E.  C. 
Dorr;  treasurer.  Fay  R.  Smith;  assessor,  G.  E.  Wilbour;  recorder, 
Robert  Griffith;  aldermen.  Orris  Hayes,  E.  J.  Phillips,  Thomas 
Meany :  justices,  L.  N.  Griffith,  N.  K.  Noble  and  J.  B.  AYaddick ; 
constables,  Thomas  Riley,  Y.  T.  Cameron  and  William  Way. 

In  1883  the  officers  elected  were:  Mayor,  E.  C.  Dorr;  asses- 
sor, George  E.  Wilbour;  treasurer,  J.  H.  Patterson;  recorder, 
Robert  Griffith ;  aldermen,  H.  S.  Smith,  R.  0.  Hall,  J.  Weisel.  A. 
Frederick,  who  was  nominated  for  mayor,  declined  to  run. 

In  1884,  E.  C.  Dorr  was  again  elected.  The  other  officers 
elected  were :  Assessor,  G.  E.  Wilbour ;  treasurer,  J.  H.  Patter- 
son; recorder,  Robert  Griffith;  justices,  James  D.  Sheedy  and  N. 
K.  Noble ;  aldermen,  Ed.  A.  Dallager,  Geo.  II.  Litchfield  and  C.  J. 
Miller;  constables,  Thomas  Rilev,  Y.  T.  Cameron  and  William 
H.  Way. 

In  1885,  Lafayette  French  became  mayor.  The  other  officers 
elected  were:  Recorder,  Robert  Griffith;  treasurer,  J.  H.  Patter- 
son ;  assessor,  F.  K.  Keyser ;  aldermen,  Joseph  Adams,  P.  C.  Sul- 
livan and  H.  Herzog. 

In  1886  all  the  Republican  candidates  were  elected  except  one, 
A.  H.  Loucks,  a  Democrat,  being  elected  treasurer.  The  full  list 
of  officers  elected  consisted  of:  Mayor,  Lafayette  French;  re- 
corder, Robert  Griffith ;  treasurer.  A.  H.  Loucks ;  assessor,  George 
E.  Wilbour ;  aldermen,  C.  H.  Davidson.  Andrew  Knox,  C.  J.  Mil- 
ler; justices,  N.  K.  Noble,  M.  J.  Engle,  J.  D.  Sheedy;  constables, 
Thomas  Riley,  Jolm  Beckel,  William  Way. 

In  1887  the  new  charter  provided  for  the  election  of  an  alder- 
man at  large  as  well  as  one  from  each  of  the  wards.  The  officers 
elected  were :  Mayor,  Lafayette  French ;  recorder,  J.  H.  JNIake- 
peace ;  treasurer,  A.  H.  Loucks ;  assessor,  George  E.  Wilbour ; 
aldermen,  C.  N.  Beiseker,  L.  E.  Day,  B.  W.  Lovell,  D.  A.  McFad- 
den:  constables  (to  fill  vacancies),  E.  R.  Earl,  John  Beckel. 

In  1888,  the  Democrats  elected  a  mayor  and  the  alderman  at 
large.  The  officers  elected  were :  Mayor,  O.  W.  Gibson  ;  recorder. 
Johan  Wold ;  assessor,  George  E.  Wilbour ;  trea.surer,  N.  F.  Ban- 
field  ;  aldermen,  William  Todd,  Seymour  Johnson.  C.  L.  West,  C. 
J.  Miller;  justices,  James  Sheedy,  N.  K.  Noble,  E.  Myers;  eon- 
stables,  C.  Ed  Clark,  Jerry  Ingalls,  John  Beckel.  The  council 
elected  Patrick  Geraghty  street  commissioner.  ^Tayor  Gib.son 
nominated  Y.  T.  Cameron  chief  of  police,  but  the  council  refused 
to  confirm  the  appointment.  As  soon  as  the  vote  was  announced. 
Mayor  Gibson  nominated  J.  H.  INFakepeace  for  the  place  and  he 


also  failed  of  confirmation,  so  Jerry  Ingalls  continued  to  hold 
the  office  of  chief  of  police.  Dr.  Phillips  resigned  as  chairman 
of  the  board  of  health  and  Dr.  J.  N.  Wheat  was  appointed  to  till 
the  vacancy.  It  was  in  this  year  that  Ira  Padden,  who  for  so 
many  years  represented  the  third  ward,  came  to  the  city  council. 
A  special  election  was  held  on  April  19  of  this  year  to  elect  an 
alderman.  Thomas  Meany  received  102  votes  and  William  Du- 
gan  103  votes.  When  the  council  came  to  canvass  the  vote,  it 
passed  a  resolution  declaring  the  election  invalid ;  the  returns 
appeared  illegal  on  the  face.  Another  election  Avas  held  May  1, 
Avhen  Ira  Padden  secured  all  but  seven  of  the  votes  east  at  the 
election.  J.  M.  Greenman  was  elected  city  attorney  and  superin- 
tendent of  the  water  works.  J.  H.  Makepeace,  who  failed  to 
become  chief  of  police,  was  made  fire  marshal  July  6. 

In  1889,  the  following  ticket  was  elected:  Mayor,  0.  W. 
Gibson ;  alderman  at  large,  T.  F.  Leonard ;  treasurer,  N.  F.  Ban- 
field  ;  assessor,  George  E.  Wilbour ;  recorder,  Johan  Wold ;  alder- 
men, L.  E.  Day,  E.  J.  Phillips,  Ira  Padden;  justice  of  the  peace, 
E.  Myers.  Appointments  were  made  as  follows:  Chief  of  po- 
lice, J.  E.  Ingalls;  J.  M.  Greenman,  city  attorney  and  superin- 
tendent of  the  water  Avorks ;  E.  J.  Ames,  fire  marshal.  Alder- 
man Phillips  resigned  November  1,  and  B.  'W.  LoA'ell  Avas  chosen 
by  the  council  to  fill  the  vacancy. 

In  1890  the  ticket  elected  was:  Mayor,  0.  W.  Gibson;  treas- 
urer, N.  P.  Banfield ;  assessor,  George  E.  Wilbour;  recorder, 
Johan  Wold;  aldermen,  Joseph  Adams,  Seymour  Johnson,  C.  L. 
West,  J.  T.  Sargent,  L.  G.  Campbell ;  justices,  J.  D.  Sheedy,  N.  K. 
Noble,  F.  H.  Stokes;  constables,  F.  Riley,  J.  E.  Ingalls,  John 
Beckel.  The  folloAving  appointments  were  made:  Joseph 
Lamping,  street  commissioner :  E.  J.  Ames,  fire  marshal.  October 
3,  Lamping  resigned  and  E.  J.  McGovern  was  elected  to  fill 
the  vacancy.  Greenman  continued  to  hold  the  offices  of  superin- 
tendent of  Avater  Avorks  and  city  attorney  and  Ingalls  Avas 
chief  of  police. 

In  1891,  the  folloAving  ticket  Avas  elected:  ]Mayor,  C.  H. 
Johnson ;  treasurer,  N.  F.  Banfield ;  assessor,  George  E.  Wil- 
bour;  recorder,  Johan  Wold;  aldermen,  Joseph  Adams,  L.  A. 
Foots,  J.  T.  Sargent,  Ira  Padden ;  justices  of  the  peace,  W.  H. 
Hazel,  W.  W.  Ranney.  The  following  appointments  Avere  made: 
J.  I\r.  Girreenman,  city  attorney  and  superintendent  of  Avater 
Avorks;  Jerry  Ingalls.  chief  of  police;  E.  J.  Ames,  fire  marshal; 
E.  J.  McGovern,  street  commissioner.  William  Todd  was  appointed 
to  succeed  M.  Becker,  chief  engineer  of  the  Avater  works.  This 
year  the  council  voted  to  use  the  old  Methodist  church  for  a 
city  linll.     T!i(>  building  stood  on  the  site  of  the  Carnegie  Public 


Library.  The  question  of  liquor  license  had  been  submitted  to 
the  people,  the  vote  being,  for  license  498,  and  against  119. 

In  1892,  the  officers  elected  were:  Mayor,  C.  II.  Johnson; 
treasurer.  N.  F.  Banfield;  assessor,  G.  E.  Wilbour;  recorder, 
Johan  Wold;  aldermen,  Joseph  Adams,  John  Robertson,  Wilson 
Beach  (for  one  year),  H.  S.  Merrill  (for  two  years),  L.  G.  Camp- 
bell ;  justices  of  the  peace,  C.  J.  Short,  W.  AV.  Ranney,  F.  II. 
Stokes ;  constables,  Frank  Riley,  J.  E.  Ingalls,  Grant  Miller.  The 
following  appointments  were  made :  City  attorney  and  superin- 
tendent of  water  works,  J.  M.  Greenman ;  fire  chief,  E.  J.  Ames ; 
street  commissioner,  E.  J.  McGovern ;  chief  of  police,  Jerry  In- 
galls. On  May  20,  Alderman  Foote  resigned  and  George  Burn- 
ham  was  elected  by  the  council  to  fill  the  vacancy.  H.  S.  Merrill 
also  resigned  from  the  board  and  T.  F.  Leonard  was  elected 
hy  the  council  to  fill  the  vacancy.  It  is  interesting  to  know  that 
the  council  passed  the  first  street-paving  resolution  and  also 
inaiigurated  the  present  sewer  system  as  mapped  out  by  Expert 
Engineer  Tchirgi. 

In  1893,  the  following  officers  were  elected  and  appointments 
made  :  Mayor,  C.  H.  Johnson  ;  recorder,  Johan  Wold ;  treasurer, 
J.  L.  Mitchell;  assessor,  George  E.  Wilbour;  aldermen,  E.  C. 
Dorr,  A.  W.  Wright,  T.  F.  Leonard  (to  fill  vacancy),  R.  E.  Shep- 
herd, Ira  Padden;  constable,  third  ward,  N.  N.  Wilsey.  For 
license  395,  against  233.  City  attorney  and  superintendent  of 
water  works.  J.  M.  Greenman;  fire  marshal,  Thomas  Dugan; 
chief  of  police,  J.  E.  Ingalls ;  street  commissioner,  Chris  Han- 
son; chairman  board  of  health.  Dr.  Wheat.  The  records  show 
that  on  ]\Iay  5.  James  M.  Gait  became  chief  of  police. 

LTp  to  this  time  Austin  had  used  the  ordinary  kerosene  lamps 
for  street  lights  and  each  council  was  called  upon  to  decide  who 
should  be  official  lamp  lighter  from  among  a  large  number  of 
applicants.  In  the  summer  of  1893,  a  private  concern  known  as 
the  Austin  Electric  Light  Company  asked  the  city  to  enter  into 
a  contract  for  lighting  the  city  with  electricity.  This  innova- 
tion met  with  unanimous  approbation  of  the  council  and  the  of- 
ficial lamp  lighter,  like  Othello,  lost  his  occupation. 

In  1894,  a  Republican  mayor  was  elected  for  the  first  time  in 
seven  years,  being  placed  in  office  by  a  majority  of  twenty- 
five  votes,  out  of  1,049  cast.  The  complete  ticket  elected  was: 
Mayor,  Lyman  D.  Baird :  recorder,  Johan  Wold ;  treasurer,  H.  L. 
Banfield ;  assessor,  J.  C.  Belding :  aldermen.  Jacob  Weisel,  John 
Robertson.  Henry  Curtis.  John  Gulden:  justices.  J.  E.  Robin- 
son, AV.  AV.  Ranney.  F.  II.  Stokes:  constables.  J.  AI.  Gait,  John 
Alanning,  L.  N.  AAlllsey.  Tlie  year  1894  was  a  strenuous  one. 
The  great  railway  strike  had  thrown  many  men  out  of  work, 
and  the  council,  to  keep  the  unemployed,  hired  many  of  them 


to  work  on  city  improvements.  Feeling  against  the  railroads 
ran  high  and  when,  the  C,  M.  &  St.  P.  road  built  a  high  board 
fence  along  the  east  side  of  its  yards,  shutting  off  all  travel  on 
certain  streets  that  crossed  the  yards,  there  was  great  indigna- 
tion. The  council  held  a  special  meeting  and  passed  a  resolu- 
tion condemning  the  action  of  the  railroad  in  "unlawfully  ob- 
structing some  of  our  streets"  and  ordered  street  superintendent 
Chris  Hanson  to  tear  down  the  fence  where  Bridge  street  crossed 
the  tracks.  Tlie  railroad  got  busy  and  at  the  next  meeting  of 
the  council,  which  was  held  March  2,  1895,  the  same  council 
that  ordered  the  fence  torn  down,  ordered  the  same  street 
superintendent  to  erect  the  fence  and  put  it  in  as  good  condi- 
tion as  if  was  originally.  A  petition  addressed  to  the  railroad 
company  by  the  council  asked  that  the  company  allow  the  use 
of  a  foot-path  across  the  tracks,  the  city  agreeing  to  pay  the 
salary  of  a  flagman  to  be  stationed  at  the  crossing.  The  coun- 
cil also  asked  the  county  commissioners  to  erect  a  A'iaduct 
over  the  tracks.  That  body  Avas  not  sure  that  the  county  funds 
could  be  expended  for  such  a  purpose,  but  agreed  to  erect  such 
a  structure,  provided  the  city  would  agree  to  repay  the  county 
the  sum  of  $5,000,  the  cost  of  the  viaduct,  should  the  courts 
decide  that  the  couny  board  had  ordered  contrary  to  law.  The 
iron  bridge  which  spans  the  yards  at  the  east  end  of  Water 
street  is  a  monument  to  the  council  of  1894.  That  council  elected 
was :  L.  D.  Baird,  mayor ;  Jacob  Weisel,  alderman  at  large ; 
John  Robertson,  Henry  Curtis  and  J.  L.  Gulden;  H.  L.  Banfield, 
treasurer;  Johan  Wold,  recorder.  The  latter  died  in  October 
and  Herman  Gunz  was  elected  to  fill  the  vacancy.  Other  elective 
officers  that  year  were :  Justice  of  the  peace,  J.  E.  Robinson,  W. 
W.  Ranney,  F.  H.  Stokes;  constables,  J.  AV.  Manning  and  L.  N. 
Wilsey.  The  city  voted  for  license,  664  to  302.  The  appointive 
officers  were:  J.  M.  Gait,  chief  of  police;  Chris  Hanson,  superin- 
tendent of  streets ;  Thomas  Dugan,  fire  chief,  and  J.  M.  Green- 
man,  city  attorney  and  superintendent  of  tlie  water  works. 

In  1895,  three  independent  candidates  were  elected,  C.  H. 
Johnson,  T.  M.  Foster  and  A.  W.  Wright.  The  entire  list  elected 
was  as  follows :  Mayor,  C.  H.  Johnson ;  treasurer,  H.  L.  Banfield ; 
recorder,  T.  M.  Foster;  assessor,  J.  C.  Belding;  aldermen,  A.  W. 
AVright,  S.  A.  Emerson,  M.  J.  Haney  and  Ira  Padden.  The  city 
voted  for  license,  but  a  curious  fact  is  that  the  records  of  the 
city  do  not  show  what  the  vote  was,  the  statement  being  made, 
"On  motion  the  license  vote  was  placed  on  file."  The  appointive 
officers  that  year  were,  cliief  of  police,  J.  M.  Gait;  city  attorney 
and  superintendent  of  water  works,  J.  M.  Greenman ;  fire  chief, 
Tliomas  Dugan ;  street  superintendent,  B.  Maxwell. 

The  year  1896  found  the  city  divided  into  two  factions,  the 

HISTOIJY  OF  .A[()\VP]R  COUNTY  i:);i 

uorthenders  and  the  southeuders.  'I'lie  foi'inci-  Avanlcd  llic  noi'lli 
end  of  the  city  developed,  the  others  wanted  to  sec  tlie  south, 
end  grow.  The  fight  came  on  in  a  contest  for  the  k)cation  of  a 
city  hall.  L.  D.  Baird  ofifered  the  city  a  deed  for  land  at  the 
north  end  of  Main  street.  F.  A.  Ticknor,  acting  for  the  south- 
enders,  ofifered  the  city  the  McKenna  lots  at  the  corner  of  Bridge 
and  River  streets.  The  council  adopted  a  resolution  accepting 
Mr.  Baird 's  land.  The  newly  elected  Mayor,  F.  I.  Crane,  promptly 
vetoed  the  resolution.  The  council  as  promptly  passed  it  ovet 
his  head  and  an  architect  Avas  ordered  to  draw  plans  for  the 
new  biiilding.  Those  plans  are  now  buried  under  the  dust  and 
await  other  years  for  city  development.  The  election  of  1896 
resulted  as  follows :  IMayor.  F.  I.  Crane ;  treasurer,  J.  L.  Mitchell ; 
recorder,  T.  M.  Foster :  assessor,  J.  C.  Belding ;  aldermen,  George 
A.  Hormel,  Joseph  Adams,  H.  A.  Avery,  J.  L.  Gulden;  justices 
of  peace,  J.  E.  Robinson,  W.  AY.  Ranney,  F.  H.  Stokes ;  constables, 
J.  M.  Gait,  John  Manning,  John  Beckel;  chief  of  police,  J.  M. 
Gait;  street  superintendent.  Burr  Maxwell;  attorney  and  superin- 
tendent of  water  Avorks,  J.  M.  Greenman.  Dr.  AA^heat,  Avho  for 
many  years  had  been  chairman  of  the  board  of  health,  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Dr.  McKenna. 

In  1897  the  result  of  the  election  was:  Mayor,  F.  I.  Crane; 
trea.surer,  J.  L.  ^Mitchell ;  assessor,  J.  C.  Belding ;  recorder,  T.  N. 
Foster;  aldermen,  George  Hormel,  S.  A.  Emerson,  John  Robert- 
son, ]\I.  J.  Haney  and  Ira  Padden.  James  D.  Smith  was  ap- 
pointed street  commissioner.  The  other  officers  remained  the 
same  as  in  1896.  License  carried  by  a  majority  of  sixty-one, 
wliich  was  an  indication  of  the.groAving  "dry"  sentiment. 

In  1898  there  Avas  a  strenuous  temperance  campaign,  result- 
ing in  a  victory  for  no  license  by  102  votes.  This  Avas  the  first 
time  that  Austin  had  been  "dry"  in  tAA'enty  years,  and  the  usukl 
crop  of  "blind  pigs"  resulted.  The  entire  ticket  elected  AvaS: 
Mayor,  F.  I.  Crane ;  treasurer,  J.  L.  Mitchell ;  recorder,  T.  M. 
Foster ;  assessor,  J.  C.  Belding ;  aldermen,  AY.  C.  Holmes,  John 
Robertson,  Percy  Bump  and  Alex.  S.  Campbell;  justices,  John 
E.  Robinson,  AY.  AY.  Ranney.  F.  H.  Stokes;  constables,  J.  M. 
Gait  and  Herbert  Bordy.  The  appointments  Avere  as  follows: 
Chief  of  police,  J.  M.  Gait;  city  attorney,  A.  AY.  AN^right.  This 
year  the  Austin  Gas.  Light  &  Heating  Company  Avas  granted  a 
franchise.  A  controversy  arose  as  to  Avhat  caused  the  death  of 
shade  trees  on  Chatham  street.  Some  belicA-ed  that  gas  leaking 
from  the  mains  Avas  the  cause.  The  council  held  several  meet- 
ings, at  which  the  subject  AA'as  thoroughly  discussed.  In  July; 
1899,  the  company  surrendered  its  charter.  It  is  perhaps  sig- 
nificant tbat  the  city  council  began  to  look  for  an  additional 
Avater  supply  Avitliin  three  months  after  the  citj'  had  voted  out 


the  saloons.  Tliis  year  the  Herzog,  Holmes  and  Saehse  springs 
were  measured,  pipe  was  purchased  and  the  right  of  way  se- 
cured for  bringing  the  water  to  the  city.  The  council  of  the 
following  year  sold  the  pipe,  rescinded  the  resolution  to  buy  the 
springs  and  had  several  new  wells  sunk  at  the  Avater  works 

The  year  1S99  was  one  of  much  discussion  of  the  liquor  ques- 
tion. The  Prohibition  forces  printed  a  weekly  paper  called 
the  "Search  Light,"  which  was  edited  by  a  number  of  the  Austin 
clergymen.  Many  who  had  voted  "dry"  in  1898  felt  that  public 
sentiment  was  not  strong  enough  to  secure  law  enforcement  and 
they  swung  over  to  the  "wet"  side.  The  discussion  grew  most 
bitter  as  election  day,  March  14,  drew  near.  On  election  morn- 
ing an  extra  edition  of  the  "Search  Light"  had  been  distributed 
before  breakfast  to  the  home  of  every  voter.  At  8  a.  m.  the 
"W.  C.  T.  U.  paraded  the  streets  in  a  snow  squall.  They  carried 
a  large  picture  of  Frances  Willard  and  a  score  of  banners  with 
inscriptions,  "Will  Austin  Surrender  to  Rum  Rebellion?"  "Woe 
to  the  Man  Who  Putteth  the  Bottle  to  his  Neighbor's  Lips,"  etc. 
When  the  votes  were  counted  it  was  found  that  Austin  had  gone 
Avet  by  a  majority  of  216  A'otes.  That  night  the  extreme  "wet" 
element,  provided  with  brooms,  bottles  and  other  articles,  pa- 
raded the  streets.  The  ticket  elected  was:  Mayor,  Alex.  S. 
Campbell:  treasurer,  J.  L.  Mitchell;  recorder,  T.  M.  Foster;  as- 
sessor, S.  A.  Smith ;  aldermen,  H.  Birkett,  C.  F.  Cook,  Thomas 
Mann,  Ira  Padden ;  justice,  J.  C.  Hemer. 

Mayor-elect  Campbell  resigned  his  position  as  alderman  of 
the  third  ward,  and  the  council  elected  George  H.  Sutton  to  fill 
the  vacancy.  J.  M.  Greenman  was  chosen  city  attorney.  Dr. 
W.  L.  Hollister  became  chairman  of  the  board  of  health.  Thomas 
Dugan,  fire  marshal :  J.  D.  Smith,  street  commissioner,  and  J.  M. 
Gait,  chief  of  police. 

The  council  had  the  names  of  its  members  inscribed  on  a 
marble  tablet  and  set  in  the  Avails  of  the  municipal  plant.  The 
contract  that  the  city  had  Avith  the  Austin  Electric  Light  plant 
expired  in  1899  and  the  company  asked  for  a  reneAval.  The 
council's  ansAver  was  a  resolution  passed  April  8,  1899,  authoriz- 
ing the  purchasing  committee  to  bviy  machinery  for  an  electric 
light  plant.  On  May  5,  this  resolution  Avas  rescinded  and  the 
committee  Avas  ordered  to  secure  information  as  to  the  cost  of  an 
electric  light  plant.  June  2  an  expert  electrician  was  brought  to 
the  city  from  St.  Paul  to  give  the  desired  information.  On  Sep- 
tember 15  plans  were  adopted  and  bids  were  accepted  for  a  plant. 
The  Austin  Electric  Company  secured  an  injunction.  The  coun- 
cil held  a  special  meeting  and  passed  a  resolution  to  sever  all 
business    relations    Avitb    the    comiKiny    October    .'11.      Tlie    eas(^ 


dragged  on  through  tlie  rest  of  the  year  and  M^as  not  settled 
until  tlie  council  of  1900,  on  April  10,  purchased  the  Electric 
Light  plant  for  $16,000  and  added  it  to  the  new  one.  The  coun- 
cil of  1899  had  other  troubles,  for  Austin  had  an  epidemic  of 
smallpox  and  the  council  purchased  a  piece  of  land  in  tlie 
southeast  part  of  the  city.  The  building  was  just  ready  for  oc- 
cupancy when  it  was  burned  to  the  ground.  The  council  offered 
a  reward  of  $500  for  evidence  leading  to  the  discovery  of  the 
fire  bug,  but  the  city  never  had  to  pay  the  reward. 

1900 — Officers  were  elected  this  year  as  follows:  Mayor, 
Alexander  Campbell;  recorder,  T.  M.  Foster;  treasurer,  Alfred 
Johnson ;  assessor,  S.  A.  Smith ;  aldermen,  H.  Birkett,  John  Rob- 
ertson, Percy  Bump,  George  Sutton;  justices,  J.  E.  Eobinson,  H. 
N.  Lane,  J.  Hemmer;  constables,  R.  A.  Carmiehael,  J.  M.  Gait 
and  Tony  Beckel.  License  carried  by  a  majority  of  356.  The 
following  appointments  were  made:  Chief  of  police,  J.  M.  Gait; 
city  attorney,  A.  W.  "Wright;  city  surveyor,  M.  N.  Clausen;  fire 
marshal,  J.  L.  Gulden:  street  commisisoner,  J.  D.  Smith;  chair- 
man board  of  health.  Dr.  AV.  L.  Hollister.  The  council  received 
a  petition  that  remains  a  novel  one  to  this  day  in  the  annals  of 
the  city.  This  petition  came  from  the  saloonkeepers,  asking  that 
the  council  nail  up  all  rear  and  side  entrances  to  the  saloons  and 
enforce  the  law  in  regard  to  minors  entering  saloons. 

1901 — Officers  were  elected  as  follows:  Mayor,  C.  L.  West; 
treasurer,  Alfred  E.  Johnson;  recorder,  T.  M.  Foster;  assessor, 
S.  A.  Smith;  aldermen,  George  A.  Hormel,  Fred  E.  Gleason,  Dr. 
H.  A.  Avery  and  John  L.  Gulden.  License  vote  677,  against 
228.  The  following  appointments  Avere  made :  City  attorney, 
A.  AY.  AYright :  surveyor,  M.  N.  Clausen ;  fire  marshal,  Thomas 
IMann ;  street  commissioner,  Barney  Bushman ;  chief  of  police,  J. 
M.  Gait ;  chairman  board  of  health.  Dr.  AY.  L.  Hollister ;  superin- 
tendent of  water  works,  AYilliam  Todd.  George  Sutton  resigned 
as  alderman  on  April  5,  and  the  council  elected  John  A.  Ander- 
son to  fill  the  vacancy.  On  July  19,  the  council  ordered  another 
v;ell  to  be  driven  to  increase  the  water  supply  of  the  city  and 
installed  water  meters.  On  November  28,  Lafayette  French  an- 
nounced to  the  council  that  Mr.  and  IMrs.  Thomas  Beatty  had 
given  three  acres  of  land,  E.  G.  Tompkins  three  acres  of  land, 
and  that  five  acres  more  had  been  purchased  by  popular  sub- 
scription, all  lying  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Cedar  and  south  of 
the  city  for  park  purposes.  Later  two  acres  more  were  pur- 
chased. The  council  in  recognition  of  the  work  done  by  Afr. 
French  in  securing  the  land  for  park  purposes,  gave  it  the  name 
of  Lafayette  park.  The  folloAving  summer  a  "grubbing  bee" 
was  held,  at  which  lawyers,  doctors,  merchants  and  laboring 
men  devoted  a  day  to  improving  the  property. 


1902 — The  following  officers  were  elected:  Mayor,  Dr.  C.  II. 
Johnson;  treasurer,  A.  E.  Johnson;  recorder,  T.  M.  Foster;  as- 
sessor, S.  A.  Smith;  aldermen,  George  A.  Hormel,  John  Robert- 
son, P.  Bump,  John  Konovsky;  justices,  J.  E.  Robinson,  H.  N. 
Lane,  J.  Hemmer;  constables,  R.  A.  Carmichael,  J.  M.  Gait  and 
Tony  Beckel.  The  following  appointments  were  made:  City 
attorney,  A.  W.  Wright;  surveyor,  G.  Allen;  fire  marshal,  Thos. 
Mann ;  eliief  of  police,  J.  M.  Gait ;  street  commissioner,  Barney 
Bushman.  In  Api-il,  1902,  a  meeting  was  held,  to  Avhich  the 
property  owners  of  Main  street  had  been  invited  to  discuss  the 
question  of  paving  that  street.  Tliere  was  much  opposition  to 
the  proposed  improvement. 

On  May  20.  the  property  of  the  Christian  church  at  the  corner 
of  Maple  and  Chatbam  streets  was  purchased  for  a  hose  houst,' 
and  the  church  altered  for  this  new  usage. 

On  Juno  30,  the  sum  of  $15,000  was  appropriated  to  erect  a 
building  for  the  Southern  Minnesota  Normal  College. 

On  August  5,  the  council  decided  to  install  a  day  electric 
service  to  be  ready  for  use  November  1.  F.  H.  McCuUoch,  a 
printer,  was  the  first  to  use  the  new  power. 

During  the  years  1900  and  1901  there  had  been  much  agitation 
for  the  paving  of  ]\Iain  and  Water  streets.  The  charter  restricted 
the  action  of  the  council  along  permanent  improA'ement  lines.  On 
March  26,  1902,  a  petition  of  ten  per  cent  of  the  voters  who  had 
voted  at  the  last  election,  Avhich  had  been  held  but  two  weeks 
previous,  was  x^resented  to  Judge  Kingsley  of  the  district  court, 
requesting  him  to  name  a  board  to  prepare  and  submit  to  the 
voters  a  new  charter.  In  compliance  with  that  request  the  fol- 
lowing were  named :  James  D.  Sheedy,  Seymour  Johnson.  La- 
fayette French,  C.  I.  Johnson,  H.  A.  Avery,  Ed  Barr,  C.  L.  West, 
A.  W.  Wright,  George  Merrick,  J.  M.  Greenman,  E.  C.  Kenney, 
Alex  S.  Campbell,  J.  L.  Gulden,  Ira  Padden  and  Joseph  Regner. 

The  board  met  and  elected  C.  L.  West  president,  and  Arthur 
Wright  secretary.  It  held  frequent  meetings  during  the  ensu- 
ing months,  and  on  January  2,  1903,  the  new  charter  was  pre- 
sented to  the  city  council.  It  Avas  signed  by  but  nine  of  the 
board,  C.  L.  West,  A.  W.  Wright,  J.  L.  Gulden,  C.  I.  Johnson, 
Lafayette  French,  Hoyt  A.  Avery,  J.  ]\I.  Greenman,  E.  C.  Kenney, 
and  J.  D.  Sheedy, 

On  January  16,  a  petition  signed  by  eighty-tAvo  citizens  Avas 
presented  to  the  city  council  requesting  that  a  special  election 
be  called  for  February  L3,  to  vote  upon  the  charter.  In  the 
raeanAvhile  the  proposed  charter  had  been  printed  in  the  daily 
papers  and  much  opposition  had  appeared.  The  people  of  the 
third  Avard  objected  to  a  redistricting  of  the  city  into  four  AA-^ards, 
Avliifli   Avould  make  material   changes  in  the  boundaries  of  that 


■ward.  The  no  license  people  objected  to  a  provision  that  made 
it  necessary  to  secure  twenty-five  per  cent  of  the  voters  on  a 
petition  to  have  the  liquor  question  submitted  to  the  people. 
'Under  the  old  charter  it  required  but  ten  per  cent.  Many  of 
the  voters  objected  to  a  section  that  barred  ail  but  free  holders 
from  holding  office.  The  liquor  interests  opposed  the  new  meas- 
ure because  it  provided  for  the  mandatory  revocation  of  liquor 
licenses  for  the  violation  of  any  city  ordinance  or  state  law  per- 
taining to  the  business. 

In  order  to  pass  the  charter  four-sevenths  of  the  votes  cast 
were  required  to  be  in  favor  of  the  charter.  The  vote  was  272 
in  favor  and  262  against. 

The  board  again  met  and  on  March  3  were  ready  with  an 
amended  charter.  This  was  printed  in  full  in  the  daily  papers 
Avith  explanatory  notes  by  A.  W.  Wright.  A  mass  meeting  was 
also  held  at  the  court  house.  The  objectionable  features  hacj 
been  eliminated  and  the  charter  went  before  the  people  at  an 
election  held  March  10.  There  was  still  much  opposition  to  the 
proposed  measure  and  it  was  carried  by  a  majority  of  less  than 
one  vote. 

The  new  cliarter  provided  for  biennial  election,  all  of  the 
old  aldermen's  terms  to  expire  at  the  same  time,  the  aldermen 
holding  office  at  the  time  of  the  passage  of  the  charter  to  hold 
until  their  time  expired.  Under  the  new  charter  the  municipal 
electric  plant  and  water  works  passed  into  the  hands  of  a  com- 
mission, and  from  the  control  of  the  city  council. 

The  new  charter  has  been  of  great  advantage  in  some  re- 
spects, but  in  others  there  is  no  doubt  but  the  city  could  have 
made  more  permanent  improvements  under  the  statute  laws  of 
tlie  state  than  under  the  home-rule  charter. 

The  officers  elected  in  1903  were:  Mayor,  C.  F.  Cook;  treas- 
lu-er,  J.  L.  Mitchell ;  recorder,  T.  M.  Foster ;  assessor,  E.  P.  Kelley ; 
aldermen,  P.  H.  Zender,  Peter  Johnson,  Frank  Hall  and  George 
Beckel.  The  new  charter  went  into  effect  April  11,  1903.  Mayor 
Cook  appointed  as  commissioners  of  the  electric  light,  power  and 
water  board,  S.  D.  Catherwood,  for  one  year;  J.  D.  Sheedy,  for 
tAvo  years;  A.  S.  Campbell,  for  three  years;  George  A.  Horrael, 
for  four  years,  and  J.  L.  Gulden  for  five  years.  ]Mr.  Catherwood 
resigned  from  the  board  November  6,  and  was  succeeded  by 
A.  M.  Smith. 

Mayor  Cook  appointed  for  the  first  park  board,  Thomas 
Beatty,  one  year;  F.  E.  Gleason,  two  years;  George  A.  i^uttoii, 
three  years;  Lafayette  ^''rencli,  four  years,  and  Anton  Friedrich 
for  five  years. 

The  council  elected  B.  Bushman,  street  commissioner;  Tliomas 
Dugan,  fire  chief,  and  Thomas  Pridham,  city  attorney. 


The  council  granted  a  franchise  to  the  new  organized  Inter- 
state Telegraph  &  Telephone  Company,  passed  an  anti-spitting 
on  the  sidewalk  ordinance  and  in  January,  1904,  condemned  the 
opera  house  and  several  other  places  of  public  amusement,  as 
fire  traps.  The  owners  of  the  opera  house  announced  to  the 
council:  "The  building  will  never  again  be  opened  as  an  opera 
house."    Later  a  part  of  the  stage  caved  in. 

1904-1905— Mayor,  C.  F.  Cook;  treasurer,  J.  L.  Mitchell;  as- 
sessor, L.  B.  Fairbanks ;  aldermen,  Thomas  Riley,  Percy  Bump, 
W.  J.  Bell,  Peter  Johnson,  F.  0.  Hall,  Geo.  Beekel,  Ira  Padden; 
justices,  J.  E.  Robinson,  H.  N.  Lane,  George  Bailey.  The  fol- 
lowing appointments  were  made  :  T.  H.  Pridham,  city  attorney ; 
Nels  Jensen,  fire  chief;  Barney  Bushman,  street  commissioner; 
G.  H.  Allen,  city  surveyor.  On  September  16,  received  a  peti- 
tion for  the  paving  of  Main  street.  On  September  26,  the  council 
met  with  the  property  holders,  several  of  whom  were  much  op- 
l)0sed  to  the  proposed  improvement.  The  city  had  a  floating  in- 
debtedness of  something  over  $20,000,  and  a  special  election  was 
held  November  8,  at  which  bonds  were  voted  to  take  up  this  iu- 
debtetlness  and  at  the  same  time  an  amendment  to  the  charter 

On  March  5,  1905,  the  council  passed  the  necessary  resolu- 
tions for  the  paving  of  Main  street  between  Oakland  avenue  and 
Lansing  avenue,  a  block  each  way  on  each  of  the  intei'secting 
streets,  and  Water  street  from  Railway  street  to  St.  Paul  street. 

1906-1907 — Mayor,  George  Sutton;  treasurer,  J.  L.  Mitchell; 
assessor,  L.  B.  Fairbanks;  aldermen,  Peter  Johnson,  AY.  J.  Bell, 
T.  C.  E.  Officer,  Dr.  A.  M.  Lewis,  C.  J.  McNally,  Ira  Padden. 
P.  H.  Zender ;  justices,  John  Fairbanks,  H.  N.  Lane,  J.  C.  Hemer. 
T.  M.  Foster  was  appointed  recorder.  The  following  appoint- 
ments were  made :  City  attorney,  T.  H.  Pridham ;  city  engineer, 
M.  N.  Clausen;  fire  chief,  N.  P.  Jensen;  street  superintendent. 

B.  Bushman.  The  council  appropriated  $250  for  the  San  Fran- 
cisco earthquake  sufferers.  The  paving  question  was  taken  up 
February  1,  1907,  and  on  February  15  the  council  advertised  for 
Inds  for  paving  Water  street  with  brick.  A  strong  remonstrance 
was  made  by  some  of  the  property  owners,  who  engaged  Attorney 
Fay  Greenman  and  H.  H.  Dunn,  of  Albert  Lea,  as  counsel  for  the 
protestants.  A  special  meeting  of  the  council  was  held,  at  which 
the  attendance  was  so  great  that  the  meeting  was  adjourned  to 
the  court  room.  As  a  majority  of  the  property  owners  favored 
]iaving,  the  woi'k  was  carried  to  completion. 

1908-1909— ^layor,  George  Siitton ;  treasurer,  J.  L.  Mitchell; 
assessor,  Jacob  Gute ;  aldermen,  Joseph  Fitzhun,  C.  F.  Stillmau, 

C.  M.  Emmons,  Percy  Bump,  Ira  Padden,  Jolm  j\IcCormick, 
P.  n.   Zender;   justices,   Jolui   ?'iiirl)iinks,   W.   W.   Ranny,   David 


Cooper.  T.  ]M.  Foster  was  appoiuted  recorder.  The  election  was 
a  close  and  bitter  one  for  the  position  of  alderman-at-large,  P.  H. 
Zender  defeating  Peter  Johnson  for  the  office.  The  latter  asked 
that  the  council  appropriate  the  sum  of  $500  to  investigate  the 
charge  that  there  had  been  illegal  voting  at  the  election,  his  point 
being  that  certain  (S.  M.  N.)  college  students  had  voted  who 
v/ere  not  residents  of  the  city.  The  council  took  no  action  on 
tlie  matter. 

The  board  of  aldermen  took  up  the  question  of  building  a  fire 
engine  house,  armory  and  city  hall,  all  in  one  building,  and  had 
plans  drawn  which  were  accepted.  It  went  before  the  people 
at  a  special  election,  when  the  proposition  was  carried  to  build 
a  city  hall,  armory  and  engine  house  at  an  expense  "to  exceed 
$5,000."  The  council  then  voted  to  build,  but  before  it  got  to 
work  the  terms  of  the  aldermen  had  expired  and  another  set  of 
plans  and  specifications  were  added  to  those  already  accepted 
ten  years  previous.  Mayor  Sutton  presided  over  the  council 
for  the  last  time  April  7,  1909,  and  Alderman  Zender  became 
acting  mayor.  He  then  went  to  Omaha  and  entered  the  Omaha 
General  Hospital  for  treatment,  where  he  died  July  1,  the  news 
being  broken  to  the  people  by  the  tolling  of  the  church  bells. 
The  body  Avas  brought  to  the  city  over  the  C.  G.  W.  road,  and 
was  met  at  the  depot  by  a  large  and  sorrowing  body  of  citizens. 
On  Saturday,  July  3,  the  body  was  taken  to  the  corridor  of  the 
court  house,  where  it  lay  in  state,  guarded  by  four  members  of 
Co.  G,  M.  N.  G.,  in  uniform.  From  4  to  5  o'clock  all  the  stores 
were  closed,  and  970  of  our  people  filed  past  the  casket.  The 
funeral  occurred  on  Sunday,  July  4,  the  escort  being  Co.  G, 
Mclntyre  Post,  G.  A.  R. ;  the  firemen,  Austin  Lodge,  414,  B.  P. 
0.  E.,  and  other  orders.  The  service  was  held  in  Christ  Epis- 
copal church  and  the  body  was  buried  in  Oakwood  cemetery. 

1910-1911— :\Iayor,  Alex  S.  Campbell;  treasurer,  J.  L.  Mitch- 
ell ;  assessor,  John  Reding ;  aldermen,  A.  C.  Page,  W.  J.  Bell,  F.  E. 
Gleason,  A.  Hotson,  P.  A.  Reilly,  Ira  Paden,  Franklin  Clay; 
justices,  John  Fairbanks,  W.  AY.  Ranney,  Ray  Chaffee.  The  fol- 
lowing appointments  were  nuide:  Recorder,  Frank  Cronon;  chief 
of  police,  J.  M.  Gait;  chief  of  fire  department,  N.  P.  Jensen; 
chairman  of  board  of  health.  Dr.  H.  F.  Pierson;  street  commis- 
sioner, Robert  Parkins.  T.  H.  Pridham,  who  was  appointed 
attorney,  moved  from  the  city  and  the  council  elected  Jacob 
Nicholsen  for  the  unexpired  term. 

A  special  election  was  held  and  bonds  to  tlie  amount  of 
$.30,000  were  voted  to  purchase  the  Sargeaut  Springs  and  to 
bring  the  water  to  the  city  for  domestic  purposes.  The  council 
was  also  authorized  to  purchase  the  farm  on  which  the  si)rings 


Avere  located  for  the  sum  of  $18,500.  The  council  at  once  bought 
the  farm  and  springs  and  closed  a  contract  for  bringing  the 
■water  to  the  city.    The  work  was  completed  June  1,  1911. 



Importance  of  the  Mercantile  Interests^Beginning  of  Industry — 
Austin  in  1867— The  Railroad  Era— Austin  in  1876— Austin 
in  1884 — The  Modern  Period — Manufacturing  Interests — First 
Mill  —  Former  Industries  —  Modern  Industries.  —  Edited  by 
Charles  L.  West. 

Austin's  Avholesale  and  retail  trade  covers  twenty-two  blocks 
of  the  city's  streets.  Every  line  of  commercial  trade  is  repre- 
sented. Not  for  ten  years  has  there  been  a  commercial  failure 
of  any  importance.  Austin's  business  houses  are  all  on  a  tirm 
financial  basis  and  are  conducted  conservatively.  Several  of  the 
merchants  have  been  in  business  here  for  over  thirty  years.  The 
stores  are  modeim  and  the  stock  carried  up-to-date,  the  mer- 
chants going  to  Chicago  and  New  York  to  personally  inspect  the 
stock  of  goods  which  they  place  before  the  people.  Prices  are 
reasonable  in  all  lines,  and  it  is  not  an  unusual  thing  for  an 
Austin  merchant  to  ship  goods  to  St.  Paul  and  Minneapolis  to 
customers  who  have  found  it  cheaper  to  buy  certain  lines  of 
goods  in  this  city. 


The  first  move  toward  business  here  was  in  the  fall  of  1854, 
when  Chauncey  Leverieh  commenced  the  building  of  a  saw  mill, 
which  was  completed  in  the  spring  of  1855.  The  first  store  in 
the  place  was  opened  by  A.  B.  Vanghan  and  his  son,  P.  D. 
Vaughan,  who  came  here  in  the  spring  of  1855,  bringing  a  stock 
of  goods  with  them  from  Wisconsin.  In  1856  they  sold  to 
Aloysias  Brown,  and  moved  to  Lansing. 

Aloysius  Brown  was  born  near  Emmetsburg,  Md.,  January 
18,  1793,  and  married  Elizabeth  Drury.  In  1856,  he  came  to  Aust; 
tin  and  engaged  in  trade  as  before  stated.  His  stock  of  goods 
was  procured  at  Winona  and  IMcGregor,  and  were  drawn  here  by 
ox  teams.  In  1857-58  the  people  depended  upon  ^Nlr.  Brown  to 
furnish  thoni  with  flour  and  corn  meal,  wliicli  was  drawn  from 


Chatfield  and  Decorah,  lo^va.  At  times  the  roads  were  so  bad 
that  it  was  almost  impossible  for  a  team  to  pass  over,  or  rather 
through  them,  and  it  required  many  days  to  make  the  journey. 
As  soon  as  it  was  learned  that  teams  had  been  dispatched  for  a 
)iew  supply  of  meal,  gold  coin  and  sacks  with  the  names  of  the 
owners  and  amount  of  meal  required  securely  tied  to  each,  were 
deposited  with  Mr.  Brown  to  make  sure  of  a  portion  of  the  meaj: 
On  its  arrival  the  amounts  were  put  into  each  sack  and  set  away 
for  those  who  had  paid  for  it.  The  demand  Avould  sometimes 
exceed  the  supply,  so  the  amount  dealt  out  to  each  would  be 
diminished  until  ten  or  fifteen  pounds  would  be  the  most  he  would 
sell  to  any  one  family.  "When  the  meal  Avas  all  distributed  and 
there  were  yet  families  not  supplied,  a  raid  would  be  made  on 
the  sacks  that  were  filled  and  the  contents  distributed  among 
tliose  that  had  no  flour  or  meal  to  eat.  In,  one  instance  a  Nor- 
wegian woman,  having  a  large  family,  came  before  noon  and 
stayed  until  9  o'clock  trying  to  buy  more  than  fifty  pounds  of 
meal,  but  when  she  saw  the  last  of  the  meal  carried  away  by 
littles,  she  gave  it  up  and  Avent  home.  Mr.  Brown's  death  oc- 
curred February  23.  1864;  Mrs.  Brown's,  April  3,  1868. 

The  second  store  in  Austin  was  opened  by  J.  B.  Yates  and 
V.  P.  Lewis. 

General  Stores.  In  the  winter  of  1856-57  George  B.  Hayes 
started  into  mercantile  business  in  a  building  located  in  the  block 
east  of  the  Windsor  House.  He  afterward  did  business  in  the 
building  known  as  "headquarters."  He  carried  a  large  stock 
of  general  merchandise  and  was  the  leading  merchant  here  for 
some  time.  Hanchett  and  Sprague  opened  a  general  store  here 
in  1856.  in  a  frame  building  north  of  the  present  iMcCuUough 
printing  plant.  They  were  in  business  two  or  three  years 
George  ^Jlitchell  came  here  from  Geneva,  New  York,  in  1857,  and 
•started  the  first  furniture  store.  Albert  Galloway  and  D.  B. 
Johnson.  Jr..  foi-med  a  partnership  and  opened  a  general  store  in 
July,  1857,  in  a  building  east  of  where  the  postofifice  now  stands. 
The  next  spring  they  dissolved,  Galloway  continiiing  in  the  trade 
until  1868.  He  then  sold  to  Olfson  &  Peterson,  who  ran  two  years 
and  closed  out.  In  the  fall  of  1858  Ruford  Kimball  erected  a 
small  frame  building  and  embarked  in  the  grocery  and  dry  goods 
trade,  and  failed  the  coming  season.  In  1859  James  Clock  started, 
a  general  store.  He  operated  the  same  about  a  year,  when  he 
failed.  F.  King  opened  a  general  store  in  1863  and  in  1878 
George  M.  Fish.  Jr..  became  a  partner,  under  the  firm  name  of 
King  &  Fish.  Philips,  Sawyer,  Smith,  Baird  and  others  were  in 
business  here  in  the  sixties.  N.  P.  Austin  opened  a  general  store 
in  1865. 

Meat  Dealers.     The  first  meat  business  in  Austin  was  done  bv 


W.  A.  "Woodson,  in  1856.  He  was  living  about  two  miles  from 
town,  where  he  dressed  the  beef.  He  brought  the  meat  to  town 
In  a  wagon  and  drove  from  house  to  house  to  supply  his  cus- 
tomers.    Eyre  &  Rankin  opened  a  market  here  in  1865. 

Drugs.  The  first  drug  store  in  Austin  was  started  by  Dr. 
Orlenzer  Allen,  in  1856.  He  closed  out  in  war  times.  Dr.  Brewer 
was  the  second  druggist,  closely  followed  by  Dr.  Barnes.  Early 
in  1866  Woodard  &  Dorr  opened  a  drug  store.  J.  J.  and  G.  G. 
Clemmer  opened  a  little  later  the  same  year. 

Millinery.  The  first  milliner  in  Austin  was  Mrs.  Sarah  H. 
Bemis,  who  settled  here  in  1855.  She  was  in  the  business  until 
after  the  war. 

Smithing-.  The  first  blacksmith  in  Austin  was  Winfield  Love- 
land,  who  is  spoken  of  as  coming  late  in  1854,  or  early  in  1855. 
In  1857  he  moved  away.  During  that  time  Abe  Haveling  and  a 
man  named  Day  worked  at  the  trade  here  for  a  short  time. 
Other  early  black.smiths  were  Samuel  Rice  and  Llewellyn  and 

Tailoring.  In  1861  Henry  Jacobs,  a  merchant  tailor  by  trade, 
opened  a  shop  here  and  put  in  a  stock  of  ready-made  clothing. 
He  is  .still  in  business  here.  Mr.  Jacobs  has  been  in  business 
longer  than  any  other  man  in  Austin. 

Boots  and  Shoes.  George  and  Oliver  Bemis  put  in  the  first 
stock  of  boots  and  shoes  in  the  spring  of  1857. 

Livery.  The  first  livery  stables  in  Austin  were  started  in 
1864.  In  that  year  there  were  two  stables  opened :  one  by  A.  B. 
Davidson  and  William  Brown,  the  other  by  E.  D.  and  Calos  Fen- 
ton.  In  1868  W.  T.  Mandeville  succeeded  to  the  business  started 
by  Davidson  &  Brown.  Leonard  Gillett,  Joshua  Davidson,  Hicks 
&  Phelps,  Cobb  &  Son,  M.  C.  Gratton  engaged  in  the  livery  busi- 
ness here  in  an  early  day. 

Jewelry.  Gustav  Schleuder  has  been  in  the  jewelry  business 
in  Austin  since  1863,  and  next  to  Henry  Jacobs  has  been  in  busi- 
ness longer  than  any  other  man  in  Austin. 

Hardware.  Charles  C.  Hunt  opened  a  hardware  store  in 
Austin  in  the  sixties. 

Express  Companies.  The  first  express  business  done  at  Austin 
was  that  operated  by  Nichols  &  Cotter,  who  ran  the  stage  line  from 
.Rochester,  also  from  AVaverly,  la.,  northwest  into  Minnesota. 
The  United  States  Express  Company  establi.shed  a  regular  otfice 
at  this  point  and  Harlan  W.  Page  was  appointed  the  first  agent. 
A  little  later  the  American  J]xpress  Company  established  an  office 
also,  and  made  Mr.  Page  joint  agent.  This  was  the  first  joint 
office  of  these  two  companies  in  Minnesota. 

Mr.  Page  Avas  succeeded  by  Phelps  and  Hathaway,  wlio  lield 
the  offices  till  tliey  divided,  each  having  a  separate  office.     C.  J. 


Paddock  was  the  first  agent  for  the  United  States  Company  after 
they  divided,  and  James  Hutchins  for  the  American  Company. 
Abont  1870  AV.  T.  Wilkins  became  agent  for  the  United  States 
Company  and  he  in  1872  was  succeeded  by  L.  M.  Ober.  L.  R. 
Hathaway  was  finally  succeeded  in  1875  by  L.  E.  Day,  who  con- 
tinued till  1884,  when  J.  E.  Crews  took  the  office. 

AUSTIN  IN  1867 

A  directory  of  Austin,  published  in  June,  1867,  gives  the  fol- 
lowing names  of  those  engaged  in  business  and  in  the  professiolis 
here  at  that  time.  Attorneys :  Ormanzo  Allen,  Cameron  &  John- 
son, Everest  &  Wright,  Page  &  Wheeler,  Shortt  &  Jones.  Auc- 
tioneer: LeRoy  Hathaway.  Band:  Austin  Cornet  Band,  R.  L. 
Kimball,  leader.  Agricultural  implements :  E.  D.  Fenton, 
Wi'ight  and  Azure.  Architects  and  builders :  Andrews  Brothers, 
C.  Chapin,  George  Baird,  D.  Bosworth,  Campbell  &  Dodge,  W.  C. 
Cassell.  Oscar  Eyres,  C.  Ford,  George  Johnson,  L.  W.  Smith, 
Thomas  Tremple,  William  Tucker,  James  Williams.  Banker: 
Harlan  W.  Page.  Billiard  hall:  William  Simpson.  Bakery: 
Stephen  Rice.  Blacksmiths:  Hunt  &  Clark.  Allan  Mollison,  L. 
Piper,  Hiram  Smith.  Boots,  shoes,  etc. :  J.  C.  Ackley  &  Co., 
J.  B.  Revord.  Barber :  W.  H.  Bullock.  Brick  makers :  Morse 
&  Tuttle,  Webb  Brothers.  Churches:  Baptist,  PI.  I.  Parker; 
Congregational,  Alfred  Morse ;  Episcopal,  L.  W.  Gibson ;  Metho- 
dist. W.  Carver;  Presbyterian,  H.  A.  Mayhew;  Roman  Catholic, 
Father  McDermott.  County  officers:  H.  M.  Allen,  auditor;  Syl- 
A-ester  Smith,  treasurer ;  Soloman  Snow,  register  of  deeds ;  D.  J. 
Tubbs,  sheriff;  E.  0.  Wheeler,  attorney;  Ormanzo  Allen,  probate 
judge:  L.  A.  Sherwood,  clerk  of  district  court;  Sherman  Page, 
superintendent  of  schools.  Clothing  and  cloths:  J.  C.  Ackley 
&  Co.,  R.  Buckelmann,  A.  J.  Phelps.  Dentists :  Dr.  E.  C.  Dorr, 
Dr.  E.  P.  Hudson.  Dry  goods  and  groceries:  X.  P.  Austin, 
George  B.  Hayes,  Johnson  &  Brother,  F.  King,  Olson  &  Cnutson, 
Paddock  Brothers,  Soule  Brothers.  Drugs  and  medicines:  J.  J. 
and  G.  G.  Clemmer,  Johnson  Brothers  &  Co.,  Woodard  &  Dorr. 
Express  companies:  American,  Harlan  W.  Page;  United  States, 
same.  ^Merchants'  Union:  Charles  W.  Sawyer.  Fanning  mills 
and  washing  machines:  William  Truesdell.  Furniture:  Hop- 
kins &  Fernald.  William  Ludwig.  Flour  and  feed :  AV right  & 
Azure.  Good  Templars :  Austin  Lodge,  No.  14,  I.  O.  G.  T.  Gro- 
ceries :  J.  C.  Ackley  &  Co.,  J.  F.  Atherton,  Cook  Bros,  A.  Matson, 
Wright  &  Azure.  Hotels:  Davidson's  Hotel.  Fleck  House, 
Farmers'  Home.  Hardware,  stoves,  etc.:  Austin  &  Sniout,  J.  F. 
Atherton.  Kimball  &  Hunt,  V.  P.  Lewis.  Harness  and  saddlery: 
Hathaway  &  Kaiser,  Frank  Raymond.     Insurance  agents :     LeRoy 


Hathaway,  Page  &  Wheeler,  Harlan  AY.  Page,  C.  AY.  Sawyer,  R.  I. 
Smith,  Soloman  Snow.  Ice  dealer :  B.  F.  Jones.  Jew6lry,  etc. : 
Gustav  Schleuder.  Job  printing :  Register  office.  Lumber  deal- 
ers :  Crooker  &  Brother  &  Lamoreux,  Clay  &  Leach,  A.  Matson. 
Livery  stables :  A.  B.  Davidson,  E.  D.  Fenton  &  Brother.  Ma- 
sonic :  Fidelity  Lodge,  No.  39,  A.  F.  &  A.  M. ;  Austin  Chapter, 
IT.  D.  Millinery  and  dressmaking :  Cook  &  Bemis,  Mrs.  S.  Hed- 
ding,  Mrs.  D.  A.  Lord,  Miss  M.  A.  Sample,  Mrs.  Q.  A.  Truesdell. 
Merchant  tailors :  D.  Banks,  R.  Dunkelmann,  A.  Matson.  Meat 
market:  Eyre  &  Frederick.  Newspaper:  Mower  County  Reg- 
ister. Physicians  and  surgeons :  Dr.  Orlenzer  Allen,  Dr.  R.  A. 
Barnes,  Dr.  P.  C.  Berry,  Dr.  0.  AY.  Gibson,  Dr.  W.  C.  Jones. 
Photograph  gallery :  R.  I.  Smith.  Painters :  AVeseman  & 
Hickok.  Plasterers:  R.  J.  Tyler,  AYilliam  Vandergrift.  Res- 
taurants :  Huxhold  &  Yan  Campen.  Sewing  machine  agents : 
J.  C.  Ackley,  Mrs.  Orlenzer  Allen,  C.  H.  Davidson.  Stone  and 
brick  masons :  Patrick  Barrett,  AYilliam  Gutherless.  U.  S.  offi- 
cers :  Deputy  collector,  Sol.  Snow ;  deputy  assessor,  H.  M.  Allen. 
A'^eterinary  surgeon :  Dr.  M.  M.  AYalker.  AA^agon  shops :  AY.  I. 
Brown,  Holt  &  jMaloney. 


Prior  to  the  advent  of  the  railroad  to  Austin  the  business  of 
the  place  was  not  classified,  but  general  stocks  prevailed.  But 
at  this  time  a  revolution  took  place  which  really  marked  a  new 
era  in  the  commercial  history  of  Austin.  The  history  of  a  ma- 
jority of  the  business  houses  which  operated  previous  to  the 
coming  of  the  railroad  has  already  been  given.  In  this  connec- 
tion will  be  given  the  general  development  of  the  various  branches 
of  trade  from  1867,  when  the  railroad  was  completed,  up  to  1884, 
when  the  modern  period  begins. 

Mercantile.  Soon  after  the  coming  of  the  railroad  N.  P.  Aus- 
tin sold  an  interest  in  his  general  store  to  F.  A.  Richardson  and 
later  sold  his  remaining  interest  to  Frank  Mayhew  and  went  to 
California.  After  a  few  years  Mayhew  sold  his  interest  to  Rich- 
ardson and  followed  Austin  to  California.  Richardson  continued 
in  the  business  until  1880,  when  his  stock  was  destroyed  by  fire. 
James  C.  Day  started  in  the  dry  goods  business  early  in  this  era. 
After  about  one  year  he  sold  to  Stoaley  &  AYilliams.  Their  busi- 
ness was  managed  by  AY.  H.  Merrick  two  years,  when  they  closed 
out.  The  C.  L.  AYest  Dry  Goods  Company.  In  the  spring  of 
1869  C.  L.  AYest  left  Osage,  la.,  where  he  had  been  employed 
as  a  clerk  in  the  general  stores  of  II.  AY.  ]\IcNabb  and  Fonda  and 
Redfearn  for  three  years  past,  and  engaged  as  a  clerk  in  the  drug 
store  of  Johnson  Bros,  for  about  three  months,  after  which  he 

iiisTOijY  OF  :\i()\vi<:i,'  coiwi'v  ^o:. 

was  employod  iu  the  general  store  of  Austin  &  Richardson  for 
about  three  years.  In  the  fall  of  1871  he  decided  to  go  into  busi- 
ness for  himself.  He  first  thought  of  going  into  the  grocery  busi- 
ness in  some  small  town,  but  on  counting  the  cost  of  a  small 
grocery  stock  he  decided  that  the  small  amount  of  money  he  had 
was  not  enough.  He  finally  decided  that  the  biggest  show  for 
the  least  money  was  in  the  crockery  business.  He  went  around 
town  and  persuaded  the  dealers  to  sell  their  stocks  of  crockery  to 
him  and  agree  to  keep  out  of  the  business.  He  conducted  this 
business  until  June,  1873,  when  R.  0.  Hall  moved  from  Dixon, 
111.,  to  Austin,  when  they  went  into  partnership  under  the  firm 
name  of  Hall  &  West,  and  opened  a  general  store.  After  two 
years  the  grocery  department  was  discontinued  and  an  exclusive 
dry  goods  business  continued  until  June,  1899,  when  Mr.  Hall 
retired,  since  which  time  the  business  has  been  continued  by  ]Mr. 
"West  up  to  the  date  of  this  writing,  making  a  continuous  period 
of  forty  years  that  Mr.  West  has  been  in  business  in  Austin.  No 
sensational  or  radical  methods  have  been  employed,  only  such 
methods  as  have  appealed  to  an  old  merchant  as  progressive  and 
honest  have  been  the  governing  policy  of  this  store.  L.  S.  Wil- 
lard  established  a  dry  goods  business  in  Austin  in  1876.  Christian 
tian  Johnson  engaged  in  the  mercantile  trade  in  Austin  a  few 
years  after  the  railroad  was  built  with  his  brother  Jacob,  who 
died  a  fev/  months  later.  After  eight  years  Mr.  Johnson  sold  out 
and  engaged  as  a  clerk. 

Groceries.  Among  the  grocery  dealers  at  the  commencement 
of  this  era  was  L.  G.  Basford,  who  continued  in  the  business  until 
the  falling  of  the  Basford  block  in  1883.  James  C.  Day,  after 
selling  his  stock  of  dry  goods,  opened  an  extensive  grocery  store, 
from  which  he  drove  the  first  delivery  wagon  in  town.  He  was 
succeeded  by  S.  W.  Day.  Dalager  Bros,  engaged  in  the  grocery 
business  in  1880,  one  of  the  brothers,  Edward,  having  been  in  the 
same  line  since  1872,  while  the  other  brother,  Andrew,  had  been 
engaged  in  the  sale  of  farm  machinery  since  1878.  Edward  A. 
Dalager  is  still  engaged  in  the  grocery  business  in  Austin.  Fred 
Radermaeher  opened  a  grocery  store  in  Austin  in  1869,  and  in 
1876  engaged  in  the  bakery  and  restaurant  business. 

Fiirniture.  The  furniture  trade  of  Austin  was  represented  in 
1867  liy  George  Mitchell,  Hopkins  &  Fernald.  Mitchell  continued 
in  the  trade  until  his  death.  Hopkins  &  Fernald  continued  the 
business  until  1875,  when  Hopkins  sold  and  moved  to  Boston, 
^Mass.  Fernald  was  joined  in  business  by  A.  W.  Kimball.  They 
continued  in  business  until  their  stock  was  destroyed  by  fire. 
Fernald  started  in  business  soon  after.  S.  C.  Olson,  who  at  first 
worked  in  Fernald 's  store,  commenced  l)usiiiess  for  liimsi'lf.  lie 
was  in  trade  in  1884. 


Drug  Trade.  The  drug  business  at  the  commencement  of  this 
era  was  represented  by  Woodard  &  Dorr,  and  J.  J.  &  6.  G.  Clem- 
mer.  The  firm  of  Woodard  &  Dorr  was  soon  changed  to  Door  & 
Wold.  K.  0.  AVold  is  still  in  business  here.  The  Clemmer  Bros, 
were  in  business  but  a  few  years  when  G.  G.  withdrew  from  the 
firm  and  went  to  Hampton,  la.  J.  J.  was  never  a  resident  of 
Austin.  Soon  after  G.  G.  withdrew  the  firm  became  Clemmer  & 
Pooler.     Charles  A.  Pooler  is  still  in  business  here. 

Lumber.  The  business  was  first  represented  in  Austin  by  Mr. 
Washburn,  in  1866,  and  he  remained  in  the  business  two  years. 
The  same  year  a  yard  was  started  by  P.  G.  Lamoreaux  on  Main 
street.  William  Leach  opened  a  yard  in  the  fall  of  the  same 
year  on  Mill  street,  east  of  the  yard  established  by  Washburn. 
JMr.  Leach  continued  in  business  about  one  year.  The  lumber 
trade  in  Austin  in  1867,  after  the  completion  of  the  railroad,  was 
an  immense  business.  From  this  point,  all  the  territory  between 
Albert  Lea  and  ]\Iason  City  had  to  obtain  lumber  from  Austin. 
The  lumber  manufacturers  of  Minneapolis  had  yards  of  their  own 
for  several  years  and  did  an  extensive  business.  In  1868  there 
were  six  yards  in  the  city.  Among  the  dealers  who  continued  in 
the  trade  after  the  boom  had  ceased  was  William  Richards,  whose 
yard  was  at  the  depot.  He  sold  to  E.  H.  Gerard  and  he  to  S.  B. 
Woodsum.  Bray  &  French  were  also  early  dealers  in  lumber. 
Frank  I.  Crane  succeeded  Bray  &  French  in  1876.  William  M. 
Leach  came  to  Austin  in  1866,  engaged  in  the  lumber  trade,  and 
later  took  charge  of  the  lumber  yards  of  Frank  I.  Crane.  The 
Crane  yard  is  still  in  existence  and  is  in  charge  of  Ralph  P. 

Grain  Business.  The  first  to  engage  in  the  grain  business  at 
Austin  in  the  railroad  era  Avere  B.  J.  and  E.  P.  Van  Valkenburgh, 
who  located  a  warehouse  soon  after  the  railroad  came  in.  Among 
the  other  earl.y  dealers  were  Ames  &  Co.,  William  W.  Cargill,  John 
Crandall  and  Yates  &  Lewis.  The  railroad  company  built  a  low, 
flat  v/arehouse  shortly  after  the  road  was  built  in  and  about  the 
same  time  the  firm  of  B.  J.  and  E.  P.  Van  Valkenburgh  dissolved. 
Bassett  &  Iluntting  built  an  elevator  about  1875,  which  had  a 
capacity  of  60,000  bushels,  and  B.  J.  Van  Valkenburgh  managed 
it,  having  an  interest  in  the  same.  In  1868  Yates  &  LcAvis  built 
a  warehouse  and  handled  grain  a  few  years.  In  1884  the  grain 
l)usiness  was  in  tlie  hands  of  Bassett  &  Hunting  and  Charles 

Leather  Goods.  The  first  harness  made  in  Austin  was  by 
LoRoy  Hatliaway,  in  I860.  Mr.  Hathaway  was  at  that  time  at 
work  for  George  B.  Hayes,  Avho  started  the  first  harness  shop.  In 
the  spring  of  1865  Hathaway  engaged  in  business  for  himself,  and 
in  Octobci-  of  that  year  ~S\v.  Kaiser  l)ecame  his  partner  in  business. 


This  partnership  eoutinued  about  one  year.  Mr.  Kaiser  was  then 
alone  in  business  until  July  25,  1868,  when  Mr.  Guiney  became 
associated  with  him. 

Boots  and  Shoes.  Joseph  Schwan  is  the  oldest  established  boot 
and  shoe  dealer  now  in  business  in  Austin.  He  began  business 
October  23,  1867.  He  began  on  a  small  scale  in  a  small  frame 
building  only  ten  feet  in  width,  kept  a  small  stock  of  ready-made 
goods  and  also  did  custom  work.  Mr.  Schwan  is  still  successfully 
engaged  in  business.  In  December,  1867,  James  Truesdell,  of 
Syracuse,  N.  Y.,  started  an  exclusive  boot  and  shoe  store.  In 
1869  he  moved  to  Ira  Jones'  building,  where  he  remained  two 
years,  and  from  there  moved  to  the  east  side  of  Main  street,  into 
a  building  which  he  bought.  In  1880  Mr.  Truesdell  sold  his  stock 
to  Frank  Tieknor.  J.  C.  Ackley  purchased  the  boot  and  shoe 
stock  which  George  B.  Hayes  carried  in  connection  with  his  gen- 
eral store  and  operated  until  1873,  and  then  sold  to  J.  P.  Revord. 
In  two  or  three  years  he  sold  to  John  Lambert,  continued  a  few 
years  and  moved  to  southern  Iowa.  Samuel  Sweningsen  and 
Charles  I.  Johnson  embarked  in  the  boot  and  shoe  business  in 
1880  and  were  among  the  dealers  in  1884.  Charles  I.  Johnson  is 
still  engaged  in  the  footwear  business  in  Austin.  Amos  H.  Hill 
came  to  Austin  in  February,  1876,  and  for  a  time  was  in  partner- 
ship with  John  Lambert  in  the  general  grocery  and  boot  and  shoe 

Clothing.  The  clothing  business  has  always  l^een  well  repre- 
sented in  Austin.  Henry  Jacobs,  the  pioneer  dealer,  was  still  in 
trade  in  1884.  R.  Dunkleman  established  business  here  late  in 
1866,  and  Joseph  Levy  early  in  1867.  Dettleburgh  Brothers, 
better  known  as  Cheap  Charley,  established  their  business  here 
about  1878. 

Photographers.  Dr.  Brewer  was  the  first  photographer  to 
locate  at  Austin.  He  was  assisted  by  A.  B.  Davidson,  who  suc- 
ceeded him  in  the  business.  In  1884  Orville  Slocum  and  G.  S. 
Hildahl  were  each  engaged  in  the  business. 

Hardware  Business.  Charles  C.  Hunt,  who  is  spoken  of  as 
being  in  the  hardware  business  previous  to  the  railroad  era,  con- 
tinued in  trade  until  1870,  when  he  sold  to  Ira  Jones,  who  was  in 
trade  the  greater  part  of  the  time  until  1883,  when  he  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Cook  &  Davidson.  J.  H.  Patterson,  general  hardware 
dealer  purchased  a  building  of  J.  B.  Reeurd  in  1883.  The  busi- 
ness of  Mr.  Patterson  was  established  by  Crane  &  Patterson  in 
1880.  The  latter  purchased  his  partner's  interest  in  February. 
1882.  H.  O.  Jahren  and  H.  S.  Hammond  engaged  in  the  sale  of 
farm  machinery  in  the  firm  name  of  Jahren  &  Hammond  in  1884, 
purchasing  the  business  established  by  Goodwin  &  Jalircn  in  1S74. 
A.  O.  Jahren,  a  lirother  of  H.  ().,  suecedcd   to  tlic  Imsiufss  t'ol- 



lowed  by  H.  O.  W.  H.  Sutton  engaged  in  the  general  hardware 
business  in  Austin  in  November,  1883,  under  the  firm  name  of  Fish 
&  Sutton.  Mr.  Si;tton  became  sole  owner  in  May,  1884.  In 
August,  1883,  he  sold  his  hardware  stock  to  J.  F.  Andrews  &  Son. 
D.  B.  Smith  started  dealing  in  general  farm  machinery  in  Aiistin 
in  the  fall  of  1871.  Austin  Foundry  was  established  near  the 
Milwaukee  depot  in  1867  by  William  W.  Brownson,  who  continued 
the  business  successfully  until  his  death  in  1873.  In  the  agricul- 
tural implement  business  there  have  been  numerous  dealers. 
William  Allen,  about  the  first  regular  dealer,  after  railroad  times, 
operated  about  five  years  and  then  closed  out  and  removed  to 
Wells,  Minn.  Next  came  Alanson  Wright,  Avho  did  quite  an 
extensive  business  in  this  line.  Next  came  E.  P.  Van  Valken- 
burgh,  who  was  succeeded  by  Oscar  Ayers,  who  was  in  business 
for  a  few  years. 

AUSTIN  IN  1876 

In  1876,  Centennial  year,  the  business  and  professional  prog- 
ress of  Austin  was  represented  as  follows : 

Main  street — Austin  &  Chase,  hardware ;  Noble  &  McWhorter, 
grocers;  Oleson,  Smith  &  Co.,  dry  goods;  C.  H.  Brewster,  mer- 
chant tailor;  J.  J.  Hayes  &  Bro.,  jewelers;  George  Baird  &  Son, 
stationers ;  L.  L.  Gable,  organs ;  Miss  W.  C.  Soper,  milliner ; 
Charles  Rommel,  meat  market ;  Hall  &  West,  dry  goods  and  gro- 
ceries; Fernald  &  Kimball,  furniture;  Clemmer  &  Pooler,  drug- 
gists; C.  B.  Staples,  dentist;  J.  A.  Dunston,  barber;  Robert  Grif- 
fith, groceries  and  stationery ;  Mrs.  E.  M.  Benson,  milliner ;  John 
B.  Revord,  groceries  and  boots  and  shoes;  Bullock  &  Pierce,  bar- 
bers ;  AVitham  &  Robinson,  painters ;  James  Cronou,  cigars,  to- 
bacco and  notions ;  George  Foote,  confectionery ;  W.  H.  Anderson, 
baker  and  grocer;  Joseph  Levy,  clothing;  M.  M.  Brey,  tobacco 
and  cigars ;  F.  King,  dry  goods ;  Dorr  &  Wold,  druggists ;  G. 
Schleuder,  jeweler;  M.  T.  Grattan,  reaper  agent;  E.  Dunkle- 
mann,  clothing ;  Solner  &  Morgan,  general  store ;  Davidson  &  Bas- 
f ord,  publishers  Register ;  Rabe  &  Avery,  dentists ;  T.  W.  Wood- 
ard,  justice  of  the  peace;  Merrick  &  Knox,  hardware;  H.  A. 
Fairbanks,  harness  maker ;  L.  Piper,  blacksmith ;  Smith,  Wilkins 
&  Easton,  Mower  County  Bank ;  L.  M.  Ober,  express  agent  and 
deputy  revenue  officer;  J.  A.  Waters,  sewing  machines;  P.  Zeller, 
proprietor  European  hotel ;  Dr.  W.  L.  Hollister,  pliysician  and 
surgeon;  Dr.  S.  P.  Thornhill,  physician  and  surgeon;  First  Na- 
tional Bank,  O.  W.  Shaw  president,  II.  AV.  Page  cashier;  E.  0. 
Wheeler,  lawyer  and  real  estate  agent;  E.  Mapes,  groceries; 
H.  F.  Kunz,  dry  goods;  Joseph  Schwan,  boots  and  shoes;  H. 
Luithlen,  confectionery  and  restaurant;  D.  B.  Jolinson,  Jr.,  at- 


torney  at  law ;  Crandall  &  French,  lawyers ;  L.  W.  Griffith,  justice 
of  the  peace ;  H.  H.  Harwood,  proprietor  of  the  Transcript ; 
George  B.  Hayes,  loan  hroker;  Kaiser  &  Guinney,  harness  makers; 
Frank  Raymond,  harness  maker;  Padden  &  Noble,  druggists; 
James  Truesdell,  boots  and  shoes;  Tallmadge  &  Ball,  grocers; 
F.  A.  Richardson,  dry  goods ;  Greenman  &  Abbey,  insurance 
agents  and  lawyers;  George  E.  "Wilbour  &  Son,  merchant  tailors 
and  clothiers;  Engle  &  Co.,  miller's  office;  L.  Ed.  Day,  express 
agent;  Hazlewood  &  Tuttle,  hardware;  H.  M.  &  S.  Cowing,  milli- 
ners ;  Col.  J.  H.  Mansfield,  proprietor  DaA'idson  House ;  L.  Hturte- 
vant,  musical  instruments. 

Mill  street — John  Walsh,  grocer;  William  Newman,  shoe- 
maker;  Frank  Gibbons,  confectionery;  J.  J.  O'Maley,  wines  and 
liquors;  S.  Chandler  &  Bro.,  grocers;  Adrian  Drost,  silversmith; 
H.  L.  Burgess,  gunsmith ;  A.  0.  Jahren  &  Co.,  farm  machinery ; 
Leo  Anderson,  bakery :  C.  0.  Berg,  tailor ;  Sever  Oleson,  pro- 
prietor Scandinavian  House ;  A.  Nelson,  liquors ;  H.  J.  Minar, 
marble  yard;  S.  Hutchins,  proprietor  Ramsey  stage  line;  Henry 
Kothe,  proprietor  Austin  House ;  J.  S.  Corning,  proprietor  Grand 
Central  Hotel ;  D.  Heffner,  billiard  hall ;  Frank  Anderson,  liquor 
dealer;  M.  J.  Cuddy,  liquor  dealer;  Katz  &  Driesner,  wholesale 
liquor  dealers;  0.  E.  Slocum,  photographer;  T.  F.  Armstrong, 
liquors ;  John  McCormick,  liquors ;  Kyle  &  Feihn,  meat  market ; 
Henry  Jacobs,  tailor;  Mrs.  D.  A.  Lord,  millinery;  P.  Zender, 
liquors;  A.  M.  Radermacher,  grocer;  H.  S.  Smith,  plow  manu- 
facturer; Dr.  J.  N.  Wheat,  physician  and  surgeon. 

Bridge  street — L.  G.  Basford,  grocer ;  G.  K.  Hanson,  wagon 
maker;  W.  A.  Hotehkiss,  proprietor  Republican  ;  Dr.  J.  P.  Squires, 
physician  and  surgeon ;  A.  H.  Alsip,  brick  maker ;  Joseph  Rliein- 
smith,  blacksmith:  AY.  I.  Brown,  farm  machinery;  H.  S.  Smith, 
blacksmith ;  J.  Cota,  shoemaker ;  Ole  Sorenson,  shoemaker ;  A.  E. 
]\Ieigs,  postmaster;  S.  AY.  Day,  notions;  Frederich  &  Gies,  meat 
market:  James  Geraghty,  liquors;  Cameron  &  Crane,  lawyers  and 
land  agents ;  Anderson  &  Royce,  coal  dealers ;  H.  G.  AA^achlin, 
liquors;  James  Bates,  wagon  shop;  J.  A.  Donaldson,  wood  and 
iron  worker;  AL  Feeny,  boarding  and  liquors;  John  O'Brien,  pro- 
prietor American  House:  A.  AI.  Delaire,  blacksmith;  T.  Dugan. 
blacksmith  ;  Oleson  &  Nieholaison,  furniture. 

Around  Public  square — D.  B.  Smith;  J.  AYeisel,  iniiicral  wjitoi-: 
Fleck  &  Hay,  proprietors  Fleck  House;  T.  Hillam.  billiard  hall; 
Carlos  Fenton,  livery;  W.  Patterson,  blacksmith;  Thomas  Ed- 
-vards,  photographer;  E.  P.  A^'an  A^'alkonburgh,  farm  machinery; 
George  C.  Alartin,  hardware. 

Aliscellaneous— Dr.  O.  AY.  Gibson,  ])liysiciaii  and  surgeon: 
P.  O.  French,  pump  manufacturer  and  agent  For  farm  luachiuer;.  : 
Grattan  &  Cox,  livery;  Brey  &  French,  hiiiilxr:  AV.  T.  Afaiidc- 


ville  livery;  J.  F.  Atherton.  proprietor  railroad  eating  house; 
AVilliara  Richards,  lumber;  J.  Fischer,  proprietor  Burlington 
House ;  C.  W.  Ransom,  grain  buyer ;  J.  M.  Flowers,  grain  dealer ; 
George  B.  Wright,  foundry;  A.  W.  Powers,  manufacturer  of 
fanning  mills ;  V.  Richard,  manufacturer  of  fanning  mills ;  Thos, 
Meaney,  liquors :  Michael  Collins,  liquors ;  W.  H.  Valleau,  grain 
buyer:  J.  H.  C.  Huxhold,  brewer;  Frank  Livingstine,  brewer; 
J.  S.  Putnam,  justice  of  the  peace;  C.  N.  Beiseker,  cooper;  Peter 
Parker,  painter ;  W.  H.  Officer,  miller ;  Jonathan  Gregson,  miller ; 
Mathew  Gregson,  miller;  Warner,  Crane  &  Co.,  millers;  J.  Mc- 
Grath,  station  agent;  William  Olesou,  painter;  D.  Banks,  tailor; 
Peter  McCormick,  proprietor  Farmers'  Home. 

AUSTIN  IN  1884 

The  commercial  interests  of  Austin  in  August,  1884,  were 
represented  as  follows :  Dry  goods :  Hall  &  West,  J.  Solner  & 
Co.,  L.  S.  Willard  and  F.  King.  Groceries :  C.  W.  Taylor  &  Co., 
Dalager  Bros.,  F.  P.  McBride,  A.  H.  Hill  &  Co.  Boots  and  shoes : 
J.  Schwan,  Sweningsen  &  Johnson  and  F.  A.  Ticknor.  Clothing : 
R.  Dunkleman,  Dettelbach  Bros.,  ("Cheap  Charley")  J.  Levy 
and  F.  E.  Jacobs.  Hardware :  Cook  &  Davidson,  J.  H.  Patterson, 
J.  'R  Andrews  &  Son.  Drugs:  Dorr  &  AVold  and  Clemmer  & 
Pooler.  Agricultural  machinery:  D.  B.  Smith,  Oscar  Ayei'S, 
Keenan  Bros.,  Jahren  &  Hammond.  Restaurants:  G.  F.  Rode- 
macher.  R.  P.  Boyles.  Harness  shops:  Kaiser  &  Guiney  and 
Frank  Rayman.  News  depot:  James  Cronan.  Jewelers:  G. 
Schleuder  and  Hayes  Bros.  Hotels :  Fleck  House,  kept  by  A.  M. 
Fleck  ;  Mansfield  House,  kept  by  J.  H.  Mansfield ;  Windsor  House, 
kept  by  John  E.  Robinson ;  Davidson  House,  kept  by  S.  F.  Gib- 
bons; Railroad  House,  kept  by  Bannard  &  Horrabin;  American 
House,  kept  by  Andrew  Noonan ;  Burlington  House,  kept  by  J. 
Fischer;  German  House.  Lumber  yards:  F.  I.  Crane  and  S.  B. 
Woodsum.  Grain  buyers:  Bassett  &  Hunting  (per  H.  A.  Fair- 
banks) and  C.  H.  Whitton. 

The  folloAving  named  were  ones  wlio  at  one  time  had  carried 
on  business  in  Austin,  but  who,  as  early  as  1884,  had  gone  out  of 
business :  Groceries :  Noble  &  McWharter,  Paddock  Bros.,  S.  W. 
Day,  Sprague  &  Co.,  Paden  &  Simmons.  .  Drugs :  Noble  &  French. 
Hardware:  Austin  &  Smith,  C.  L.  Chase.  Dry  goods:  Fleetwood 
&  Merril,  J.  C.  Smith  &  Co.,  Walker  &  Lidgerwood,  Knud  Knud- 
son.  Agricultural  implements:  W.  J.  Brown,  E.  J.  Gratton, 
Nelson  Bros.,  II.  H.  Kent,  G.  H.  Azure.  Boots  and  shoes :  Jehial 

Of  those  in  business  here  in  1884,  Ihe  following  are  still  act- 
ively engaged  in  iiicrcantile  pursuits  in  1911  :  Chas.  L.  West,  dry 


goods,  cloaks  and  suits;  Edward  A.  Dalager,  groceries;  Frank 
P.  McBride,  groceries;  Charles  I.  Johnson,  footwear;  Joseph 
Schwan  (J.  Schwan  &  Son),  footwear;  Gustav  Schleuder,  jew- 
elry; Knud  0.  AVold,  drugs;  Charles  A.  Pooler,  drugs;  Frank 
Raymond,  harnesses,  and  Hayes  Bros.  (J.  J.  and  Orris),  jewelry. 
Ralph  Crane  conducts  the  lumber  business  of  his  father,  Frank  I. 


In  1885  began  the  modern  mercantile  period  of  Austin.  The 
companies  that  have  started  in  business,  lived  for  a  time  and 
then  sold  out,  have  but  little  historical  importance.  There  are  at  the 
present  time  a  number  of  business  houses  which  have  been  estab- 
lished for  mgny  years  and  which  by  reason  of  their  stability  and 
standing  are  worthy  of  their  names  being  handed  down  to  future 
generations  as  representatives  of  the  mercantile  interests  of 
Austin  at  the  present  time.  Among  these  may  be  mentioned: 
George  Hirsh,  clothing  (see  biographical  sketch)  ;  Philip  H. 
Friend,  clothing  (see  biographical  sketch)  ;  Hormel  Provision 
House,  food  products  (see  sketch  of  George  A.  Hormel)  ;  John 
A.  Maurek,  general  store ;  Ernest  Myers,  tobacco  business ; 
Holmes  Hardware  Company ;  Donovan  &  Goslee,  furniture ;  Aus- 
tin Furniture  Company' ;  Decker  Bros.,  hardware  (see  biograph- 
ical sketch);  G.  Fred  Baird,  undertaker;  Urbatch  Bros.,  hard- 
ware; Frank  O.  Hall,  groceries;  Lars  P.  Nelson,  harness  maker;* 
John  Briebach,  meats ;  Fred  E.  Gleason,  jeweler,  established  in 
1890 ;  Joseph  Fitzhum,  harness  maker ;  M.  J.  Keenan,  musical 
instruments ;  John  F.  Fairbanks,  fuel ;  Fiester  &  Thomas,  general 
store;  J.  S.  R.  Seoville.  jeweler;  Mathias  S.  Fisch,  department 
store  (see  biographical  sketch)  ;  Frank  M.  Zender,  cigars;  W.  C. 
Horrooin,  groceries ;  Paul  H.  Zender,  bakery ;  Dunfee  Bros., 
cigars ;  Fred  L.  Williams,  cigars ;  Austin  Cigar  Company ;  Robert 
R.  ]\Iurphy,  dry  goods;  William  D.  Bassler,  clothing;  Albert 
Thon,  dry  goods ;  Ormanzo  J.  Benton,  footwear ;  John  E.  Malloy, 
drugs;  William  R.  Earl,  furniture;  Guy  H.  Burlingame,  notions; 
Austin  Candy  Company ;  OAvatonna  Fruit  Company ;  Austin 
Plumbing  Company,  Clefton  Pluming  Company. 




First  Mill — Former  Industries — Present  Interests — Story  of  the 
Growth  and  Development  of  the  Various  Plants  Which  Have 
Assisted  in  the  Progress  of  the  City — Minor  Activities. 

"While  not  primarily  a  manufacturing  town,  Austin  neverthe- 
less has  a  number  of  important  factories,  and  the  packing,  rail- 
road, printing,  milling,  clay  products,  cement,  farm  implement, 
Tagon  making,  creamery,  bottling,  corrugated  iron,  bookbinding, 
rugmaldng,  gunmaking,  farm  machinery,  bakery,  post  card, 
greenhouse,  nursery,  building  and  illuminating  industries  are 

Naturally  the  milling  industry  was  the  first  to  occupy  the 
attention  of  the  people  of  this  vicinity. 


The  first  mill  and  factory  in  Austin  is  the  subject  of  an  article 
prepared  many  years  ago  by  Q.  A.  Truesdell.  "The  first  mill 
in  Austin  was  of  a  primitive  kind,  made  and  used  by  the  Indians. 
'  It  Avas  located  on  the  west  side  of  the  Cedar  river,  about  twenty 
rods  above  Engle's  (now  Campbell's)  dam.  A  white  oak  stump 
v.'as  hollowed  out  in  the  top  in  the  shape  of  a  mortar,  and  with 
a  wooden  pestle  the  corn  was  pounded  fine,  mixed  up  with 
Avater  and  baked  in  the  hot  coals.  Some  of  the  corn  was  begged 
from  the  inhabitants  and  some  stolen.  In  the  month  of  Novem- 
ber, 1858,  the  Truesdell  brothers  started  up  the  first  water  mill. 
The;  mill  was  made  of  iron,  and  ran  night  and  day  part  of  the 
time.  It  Avas  valuable  at  the  time  for  grinding  corn,  there  being 
no  other  mill  nearer  than  a  distance  of  thirty  miles.  Mr.  Rose, 
of  Rose  Creek,  brought  the  first  sack  of  Avlieat  and  had  it  ground 
into  flour,  and  when  we  met  afterwards  he  told  me  the  bread 
made  from  the  flour  \\^as  very  black  and  not  fit  to  eat.  Most 
of  the  pioneers  well  remember  what  was  called  the  "Water 
Johnny  Cake  Period,"  when  there  was  little  else  than  corn  meal 
for  bread,  and  not  enough  of  that.  Aloysius  Brown  Avas  in  trade 
at  that  time  and  did  a  large  business  in  furnishing  flour  to  the 
settlers.  He  had  teams  draAving  flour  from  Chatfield  and  Deco- 
rah,  loAva;  but  this  whole  country  Avas  Avet  and  soft  that  but 
small  loads  could  be  brought  in  and  it  took  a  long  time  to  make 
a  trip.  Our  supplies  Avere  chiefly  draAvn  from  Winona.  They 
could  not  be  procured  to  keep  up  Avith   the   demand,  and  such 


was  Mr.  Brown's  imijartiality  that  he  caused  tlio  sacks  to  be 
distributed  in  such  a  manner  that  every  family  should  receive 
each  a  sack  before  any  supplied  were  allowed  to  purchase  the 
second.  The  settlers  who  came  in  years  later  knew  but  little 
what  privations  the  first  ones  endured.  The  first  steam  mill  was 
built  by  J.  Bourgard  and  Asa  jMarsh,  on  the  east  side  of  town, 
and  after  a  while  it  was  fitted  up  with  buhrs  for  grinding,  and  it 
was  operated  by  Mr.  Bourgard.  In  the  fall  of  1856,  Q.  A.  and 
W.  Truesdell  put  machinery  in  a  building  where  "Warner's  mill 
(on  Dobbin's  creek)  now  (1876)  stands,  and  for  a  long  time 
manufactured  furniture,  but  after  a  time  the  dam  went  out  and 
the  premises  were  abandoned. ' ' 


In  the  seventies  and  eighties,  Austin  had  four  important  in- 
dustrial plants,  the  Engle  mill,  now  Campbell's;  the  "Warner  mill, 
now  the  lower  Campbell  mill;  the  plow  manufactory  of  Johnson- 
&  Smith,  which  is  still  in  operation,  and  the  Austin  Canning 
Company,  now  out  of  existence.  Quarrying,  lime  burning  and 
brickmaking  were  also  important  in  those  days.  The  brick  manu- 
factured here  has  entered  into  the  construction  of  many  im- 
portant buildings  in  the  Northwest,  including  the  postoffice  at 
LaCrosse.  The  stone  quarried  here,  however,  has  shown  an 
inclination  to  crumble  and  is  not  Avell  suited  for  building  pur- 

The  Austin  Pressed  Brick  Company  was  started  in  1887,  and 
for  a  time  was  very  successful.  Tlie  plant  was  burned  and  never 

The  Engle  Mill  was  owned  by  Joe  Engle  &  Sons,  who  oper- 
ated a  fine  corrugated  roller  mill  erected  in  1881.  These  gen- 
tlemen came  to  Austin  in  1871  and  purchased  Anderson's  mill. 
The  mill  at  that  time  was  a  small  aflt'air,  containing  but  one  run  of 
stone,  and  was  built  by  Mr.  Anderson  in  1864.  Immediately 
after  their  purchase  the  firm  began  reconstructing  the  property, 
and  practically  rebuilt  the  mill,  enlarging  the  building  and 
adding  two  sets  of  Imhrs,  which,  with  other  improvements,  added 
to  the  first  cost  of  the  property,  amounted  to  $30,000.  They 
operated  this  mill  until  February,  1881,  when  it  was  destroyed 
by  fire.  They  began  immediately  to  rebuild,  but  on  a  much 
more  elaborate  plan.  The  site  of  this  mill,  just  east  of  "Water 
f;treet  bridge,  is  now  occupied  by  A.  S.  Camp])ell 

The  Austin  Canning  Factory. — The  idea  of  establishing  a 
canning  factory  al  Austin  was  conceived  by  C.  H.  Davidson,  the 
propiietor  of  the  Austin  Transcript.  Ilis  attention  was  called 
lo  the  matter  by  a  gentleman  who  had  a  factory  of  this  nature 


at  Gilman,  Iowa.  Mr.  Davidson  agitated  the  matter  by  talking 
up  the  project  with  some  of  the  leading  business  men  of  Austin 
and  G.  Schleuder,  Eev.  A.  Morse,  John  Walsh  and  others  were 
awakened  to  the  fact  that  it  would  be  an  important  enterprise 
among  Austin's  industrial  interests.  This  Avas  in  the  fall  of 
1882.  The  company  began  canning  September  4,  1883,  arrange- 
ments having  been  made  with  the  farmers  in  the  vicinity  for  the 
raising  of  sweet  corn.  The  factory  had  been  in  operation  but 
three  days  when  the  boiler  of  the  engine  exploded,  instantly  kill- 
ing the  engineer,  Fred  G.  Knox.  This  sad  occurrence  ended  the 
work  of  the  factory  for  1883.  The  company  was  organized 
]\Iarch  28,  1883.  The  first  board  of  directors  was  composed  of 
the  following  named  gentlemen:  John  "Walsh,  C.  H.  Davidson, 
H.  W.  Page,  G.  Schleuder,  W.  H.  Sutton,  D.  J.  Ames  and  AV.  T. 
Wilkins.  John  Walsh  was  elected  president  and  C.  H.  Davidson 
secretary.  The  company  prospered  for  a  time,  but  is  now  out  of 
existence.  The  buildings  were  located  on  the  south  side  of  Bridge 
street,  just  east  of  the  river.  A.  B.  Hunkins  also  conducted  a 
canning  concern  here  in  1896  and  1897. 

The  Austin  Plow  and  Harrow  Works  is  the  oldest  of  Austin's 
industries,  putting  out  ploAvs  and  harroAvs  of  exceptional  Avear- 
ing  qualities.  The  company  Avas  formerly  knoAvn  as  the  Smith  & 
Johnson  Company  and  its  name  is  a  familiar  one  to  all  agricul- 
tural implement  dealers  and  farmers  of  the  NorthAvest.  The 
^^  Everlasting  steel  harrOAV,  made  in  the  Austin  PIoav  and  HarroAV 
Works,  is  shipped  to  all  agricultural  states.  It  is  a  hand-made 
product  and  the  best  of  material  enters  into  its  construction. 
The  company  Avas  established  in  1867  by  Seymour  Johnson  and 
R.  0.  Hunt.  In  1870,  L.  S.  IMitchell  entered  the  firm  in  place  of 
Islr.  Hunt,  and  in  1872,  H.  S.  Smith  replaced  Mr.  Mitchell.  jMr. 
Smith  died  in  1893,  and  in  1900,  ]\Ir.  Johnson  sold  out  to  the 
Smith  heirs. 


George  A.  Hormel  &  Co.,  pork  packers  and  provision  dealers, 
operate  Austin  "s  largest  industry ;  and  Avith  the  railroads  this 
company  constitutes  the  eliief  source  of  revenue  of  Austin's 
laboring  population.  It  has  also  been  an  impoi'tant  factor  in 
deA'eloping  the  dairy  and  swine  interests  of  the  surrounding 
country  districts.  Dui'ing  the  past  year  tlie  sales  of  this  com- 
pany have  amounted  to  over  $4,000,000.  The  total  tonnage  of 
this  year's  business  Avas  59,179,521  pounds,  an  increase  of  some 
4,000,000  over  the  previous  year.  Tlie  product  is  marketed  in 
Jill  parts  of  the  United  States  and  in  England,  AA'hen  conditions 
ill  tliat  market  are  favorable. 



In  1887,  a  young  man,  George  A.  Hormel,  who  had  previously 
had  considerable  experience  in  the  provision  and  packing  trade, 
selected  the  prairies  of  southern  Minnesota  as  the  field  of  his 
future  operations;  and,  as  a  beginning  of  greater  work  which 
he  hoped  l^ater  to  accomplish,  came  to  Austin,  and  with  Albert 
L.  Friedrich  engaged  in  the  retail  meat  business  under  the  firm 
name  of  Friedrich  &  Hormel.  October  1,  1891,  this  partnership 
was  dissolved  and  in  Janiaary,  1892,  IMr.  ITormel  started  in  the 
retail  meat  business,  this  being  the  beginning  of  the  present 
institution  of  George  A.  Hormel  &  Co.  In  November,  1901,  the 
company  incorporated  with  a  capital  stock  of  $50,000,  equally 
divided  between  preferred  and  common,  the  organizers  being 
George  A.  Hormel,  Herman  G.  Hormel,  A.  L.  Eberhart,  John  G. 
Hormel  and  B.  F.  Hormel.  These  gentlemen  are  still  identified 
with  the  company,  and  being  particularly  well  fitted  for  their 
positions  they  have  labored  together  for  what  has  become  the 
Hormel  "idea"  and  "ideal."  Realizing  that  the  superior  quality 
of  the  Hormel  product  is  responsible  for  the  growth  of  the  busi- 
ness, the  men  Avho  have  been  active  in  its  development  have  had 
an  unusual  incentive  to  maintain  its  high  standard.  In  their 
personal  supervision  of  the  various  departments,  this  is  their 
constant  aim.  The  first  officers  were  as  at  present:  President, 
George  A.  Hormel ;  vice  president,  Hennan  G.  Hormel ;  secretary, 
A.  L.  Eberhart;  treasurer,  John  G.  Hormel;  director,  B.  P, 

The  packing  business  of  the  concern  was  inaugurated  on  the 
present  site  of  the  plant,  in  a  small  frame  building,  in  1892. 
During  that  year  €lO  hogs  were  slaughtered.  From  this  begin- 
ning the  plant  has  increased  until  it  now  has  a  capacity  of  2,000 
hogs  daily.  Buildings  have  been  erected  and  extensive  altera- 
tions made  every  year  as  the  business  has  increased.  At  the 
present  time  the  plant  has  224.000  square  feet  of  floor  space,  and 
from  300  to  550  men  are  employed,  according  to  the  season  of 
the  year.  April  13,  1906,  the  capital  stock  was  increased  to 
$1,000,000.  and  May  1,  1909,  to  $1,150,000.  Aside  from  the  pack- 
ing plant  the  company  conducts  a  model  provision  market,  which 
is  one  of  the  most  modern  and  sanitary  in  southern  ^Minnesota. 

Ever  since  the  beginning,  it  has  been  the  aim  of  the  company 
to  reacli  out  for  the  fancy  meat  trade,  which  is  supplied  with 
Dairy  Brand  hams,  bacon  and  lard,  which  for  quality  and  fine 
flavor  have  no  equal.  The  hams  and  bacon  are  cured  by  a  special 
Tirocess  discovered  by  ^Ir.  Hormel  after  a  quarter  of  a  century 
of  experimenting.  The  brand  "Dairy"  is  placed  upon  the  highest 
grade  of  meats  only.  The  pig  from  which  this  brand  of  meats  is 
made  is  found  only  in  the  dairy  districts  of  southern  ^Minnesota. 
This  pig  is  fed  on  skim  milk  from  the  creameries  and  upon  corn. 


This  kind  of  food  produces  a  rich  lean  ham  and  bacon.  In  estab- 
lishing the  plant  in  Austin  the  purpose  was  to  be  at  the  center  of 
the  dairy  districts,  where  hogs,  fattened  under  ideal  conditions 
of  climate,  pasturage,  pure  air  and  sparkling  spring  water,  might 
find  a  market  at  home,  with  none  of  their  excellencies  marred 
by  long  travel.  Absolute  cleanliness  has  been  the  idea  and  per- 
fection the  ideal.  In  addition  to  the  minute  care  exercised  by  the 
Hormel  company,  the  government  also  maintains  a  corps  of  skilled 
veterinarians  and  inspectors  at  the  plant. 

With  Austin  as  headquarters,  lirauc-hes  are  maintained  at 
IMinneapolis,  St.  Paul  and  Duluth,  and  the  business  is  constantly 

The  Minnesota  Farmers'  Brick  and  Tile  Company  is  one  of 
Austin's  newer  industries,  but  already  gives  promise  of  becoming 
one  of  its  most  im_portant.  The  Indians  who  hunted  through  this 
county  used  clay  from  the  vicinity  of  Austin  for  their  rude  pot- 
tery. Soon  after  the  settlers  came,  the  value  of  the  clay  deposit 
here  was  realized,  and  at  various  times  efforts  have  been  made 
to  manufacture  and  market  clay  products.  For  various  reasons 
none  of  these  efforts  except  the  latest  one  continued,  although 
each  successive  effort  demonstrated  more  thoroughly  the  excel- 
lence of  the  clay  and  shale  found  here. 

In  the  fall  of  1909,  a  body  of  men  determined  to  take  advan- 
tage of  this  rich  deposit  by  manufacturing  tile  and  brick  on  an 
extensive  scale.  A  company  was  therefore  duly  organized  and 
incorporated  and  capitalized  at  $400,000,  divided  equally  between 
common  and  preferred  stock.  The  officers  were:  President, 
L.  A.  Smith;  vice  president,  AY.  PI.  Gleason;  treasurer,  R.  L. 
Johnson ;  secretary,  "W.  H.  Gleason,  Jr.  The  directors  were  L.  A. 
Smith,  W.  M.  Colby,  K.  L.  Johnson,  W.  H.  Gleason,  W.  H.  Glea- 
son,  Jr.,  J.  A.  Sullivan  and  "W.  M.  Sweiger. 

The  buildings  were  started  December  16,  1909,  and  the  first 
carload  of  finished  product  was  shipped  July  16,  1910.  The  daily 
oulput  is  now  about  ten  carloads.  The  present  officers  are  as  at 
first.  About  one  hundred  men  are  employed.  The  company  owns 
100  acres  lying  on  the  main  line  of  the  Chicago  Great  AVestern, 
and  it  is  expected  that  quite  a  village  will  spring  up  around  the 
plant.  At  the  present  time  the  site  is  occupied  by  an  office 
building  wliich  demonstrates  the  beauty  of  the  brick  manufac- 
tured by  the  company,  twelve  kilns,  a  large  brick  dryroom  four 
stories  high,  a  millroom  where  the  manufacturing  is  done,  a  boiler 
and  engine  house  and  an  electric  light  and  power  plant,  as  well 
as  the  large  clay  pit. 

The  process  starts  at  the  clay  bed.  This  deposit  of  clay  is 
fully  described  in  the  United  States  geological  survey  report,  and 
is  too  lengthy  for  reproduction  here.     It  is  sufficient  to  say  that 


i'or  its  own  particular  purpose  this  deposit  has  no  superiors  in 
the  Northwest,  its  peculiarity  being  its  conjunction  Avith  a  fine 
quality  of  shale.  The  clays  are  varied  in  color,  running  through 
bright  greens,  blues,  reds  and  yellows,  with  all  their  shades  and 
tints.  The  quantity  and  quality  of  the  deposits  have  been  thor- 
oughly examined  and  tested,  both  chemically  and  structurally. 
It  has  been  demonstrated  that  the  material  is  practically  pure  and 
entirely  free  from  any  substance  that  can  be  detrimental  to  its 
use.  The  discovery  of  this  deposit  will  be  more  fully  appreciated 
Avhen  its  physical  properties  are  fully  understood.  The  bed  of 
clay  lies  high  above  the  railroad  and  has  an  absolutely  perfect 
natural  drainage.  It  is  easily  secured,  as  it  is  covered  by  an 
average  drift  of  less  than  twelve  inches,  and  in  some  spots  no 
stripping  at  all  is  required. 

The  material,  which  is  soft  and  putty-like  as  it  lies  in  its 
pocket,  is  excavated  and  placed  in  storage,  where  after  a  few 
days  it  becomes  thoroughly  seasoned.  From  this  storage  the  clay 
is  loaded  into  iron  cars  and  is  drawn  by  steel  cables  to  the  mixer, 
which  is  at  the  top  of  the  building.  From  the  hopper  into  which 
the  material  is  dumped  the  clay  goes  into  the  granulator,  where 
whatever  is  coarse  is  ground  into  powder.  Never  ceasing  its 
motion  from  the  time  it  leaves  the  pit,  the  clay,  now  graulated, 
moves  in  to  the  pug  mill,  is  there  dampened  and  then  forced  out 
through  the  die,  in  one  continuous  piece,  of  the  shape  and  size 
desired.  An  automatic  cutter  cuts  the  product  the  desired 
length,  and  the  pieces  of  brick  or  tile,  as  the  case  may  be,  are  then 
loaded  on  cars  and  run  through  the  drier.  The  product  as  soon  as 
cured  is  taken  to  the  kilns  and  burned  with  soft  coal,  after  which 
it  is  loaded  into  railroad  cars  or  piled  in  the  yard  and  is  ready  for 
shipment.  The  principal  product  of  the  plant  is  biiilding  mate- 
rial and  drainage  tile,  though  other  departments  of  the  clay- 
working  industry  are  being  investigated  and  experimented  with. 

The  product  thus  obtained  is  a  much  superior  one.  The  tile 
is  of  a  ware  practicably  indestructible.  It  is  as  hard  as  stone, 
it  rings  like  a  bell  when  struck,  its  glazed  surface  is  as  smootli 
as  glass,  it  is  waterproof  and  dustproof  and  impervious  to  acids 
and  alkalies.  Nothing  sticks  to  it  and  nothing  harms  it.  Frost 
and  heat,  wear  and  weather  have  no  eflfect  on  it.  It  lasts  prac- 
tically forever.  The  government  has  accepted  the  brick  as  meas- 
lu-ing  fully  up  to  government  contract  standard. 

Tlie  company  has  done  much  and  will  do  still  more  for  the 
development  of  southern  ]\linnesota.  It  furnishes  (>in])lovment 
for  a  number  of  men,  it  is  increasing  the  manufacturing  im- 
portance of  Austin,  it  affords  an  oppoi-tunity  for  safe  investment, 
and  it  is  becoming  a  campaign  of  education  by  which  the  farmers 


are  coming  to  realize  more  and  more  the  advantage  of  subsoil 

The  Gilbert  Improved  Corrugated  Company  conducts  one  of 
the  growing  industries  of  Austin.  The  heavily  galvanized  steel 
culvert  which  this  company  manufactures  is  unlike  that  of  any 
other  make,  by  reason  of  a  fastener  used  in  joining  the  parts. 
This  fastener  is  not  a  rivet,  which  leaves  an  unprotected  line  the 
entire  length  of  the  culvert  which  sooner  or  later  rusts  out,  but  a 
contrivance  which  is  galvanized  and  lasts  as  long  as  the  culvert. 
The  company's  i:)lant  is  located  on  the  Chicago,  IMilwaukee  &  St. 
Paul  line,  so  that  the  product,  which  is  shipped  to  all  parts  of  the 
Northwest,  can  be  loaded  onto  the  cars  at  the  firm's  very  doors. 
The  machinery  for  making  the  culverts  and  the  fasteners  was 
invented  and  patented  by  the  company.  A  branch  is  maintained 
at  Aberdeen,  S.  D.,  and  there,  in  addition  to  culverts,  tanks  and 
smokestacks  are  made.  The  concern  was  incorporated  October 
20,  1908,  with  a  capital  stock  of  $25,000.  The  incorporators  were 
Jens  Larson,  John  Larson,  W.  E.  LeBaron,  C.  E.  Gilbert,  A.  O. 
Nelson,  J.  F.  Austin,  T.  E.  Wilson  and  L.  A.  Sherman.  The  first 
officers  were :  President,  Jens  Larson ;  vice-president,  W.  E. 
LeBaron ;  treasurer,  A.  O.  Nelson ;  secretary,  L.  A.  Sherman ;  gen- 
eral manager,  C.  E.  Gilbert.  The  present  officers  are  the  same, 
with  the  exception  of  L.  A.  Sherman  is  now  both  secretary  and 
treasurer.     The  capital  stock  has  been  increased  to  $35,000. 

The  Austin  Weed  Exterminator  Manufacturing'  Company, 
manufacturers  of  the  Austin  Quack  Grass  Destroyer,  conduct  one 
of  Austin 's  growing  industries.  The  officers  are  :  President,  A. 
W.  Wright;  vice-president,  Matt.  Smith;  secretary,  E.  H.  Smith; 
treasurer,  T.  A.  Revord ;  assistant  secretary  and  manager,  T.  A. 
Revord;  directors,  A.  W.  Wright,  R.  R.  Murphy,  Matt.  Smith, 
T.  A.  Revord,  E.  H.  Smith,  J.  L.  Gulden,  J.  E.  Pitzen,  N.  Nicholseu 
and  C.  A.  Hegge.  This  company  was  incorporated  in  1905  and  for 
the  first  three  years  put  out  a  machine  which,  while  it  did  good 
work,  was  far  too  expensive.  About  two  years  ago  the  company 
started  another  Quack  Grass  Destroyer,  which  sells  for  half  what 
the  first  machine  did  and  still  does  very  much  better  Avork.  No 
farmer  need  have  nnich  fear  of  this  pest  while  such  a  machine  can 
be  obtained.  The  company  is  selling  a  great  many  of  the  ma- 
chines, being  behind  on  orders  most  of  the  time.  Several  dealers 
buy  the  machines  in  carload  lots,  as  where  they  have  been  intro- 
duced thry  sell  very  easily. 

The  Austin  Gas  Company  supplies  some  600  customers  and 
puts  out  about  1. 000, 000  culjic  feet  of  gas  a  month.  The  company 
was  incorporated  for  the  maniifaeture  and  distribution  of  gas 
August  25,  1905,  with  the  following  officers:  President,  John  R. 
Howie;  vice-president,  F.  J.  Gates;  secretary,  C.  Leckbank.     The 


incorporators  were  these  gentlemen  and  R.  J.  Breckinridge  and 
LaFayette  French.  The  present  officers  are :  President,  John  R. 
Howie ;  vice-president,  R.  J.  Breckinridge ;  secretary,  F.  J.  Gates. 
The  capital  stock  is  $60,000.  The  office  of  the  company  is  at  133 
Bridge  street  and  the  plant  is  on  the  east  side  of  River  street, 
north  of  East  Winona.  May  6,  1911,  the  plant  was  sold  to  Z.  T.  F. 
Runner,  of  Freeport,  Illinois. 

The  F.  H.  McCulloch  Printing  Company  Avas  established  in 
1892  under  the  lirra  name  of  Hunkins  &  McCulloch,  Mr.  Ilunkins 
then  publishing  the  Austin  Daily  Herald  and  Mr.  McCulloch 
having  charge  of  the  job  printing.  This  partnership  was  dis- 
solved in  1894:  by  the  purchase  by  Mr.  McCulloch  of  Mr.  Hun- 
kins' interest  in  the  job  department.  The  job  printing  business 
was  then  conducted  separate  from  the  Herald  under  the  firm  name 
of  the  F.  H.  McCulloch  Printing  Company.  This  business  was 
first  conducted  in  the  rooms  over  the  building  on  the  corner  of 
IMain  and  "Water  streets.  Later  it  was  moved  to  the  south  end 
of  Main  street,  and  after  a  period  of  one  year  removed  back  to 
the  old  quarters.  Owing  to  increasing  business  in  1900  larger 
quarters  were  secured  in  the  Schleuder  block,  Avest  of  the  court- 
house, and  in  1902,  again  becoming  cramped  for  space,  they 
removed  to  the  Joseph  Keenan  one-story  building,  on  Bridge 
street,  where  they  occupied  the  entire  building  until  1910,  when 
they  removed  to  the  present  location,  200-202  Chatham  street. 
In  1908,  owing  to  the  fast  increasing  business  and  the  necessity 
for  more  capital,  the  business  was  incorporated  under  the  firm 
name  of  The  F.  H.  iMcCulloch  Printing  Company,  with  an  author- 
ized capital  of  $50,000.  The  first  officers  under  the  corporation 
being:  F.  H.  McCulloch,  president  and  manager;  A.  M.  Lewis, 
vice-president;  W.  B.  Edwards,  secretary,  and  J.  L.  Mitchell, 
treasurer.  The  same  officials  are  holding  the  same  positions  at 
the  present  time.  Printing  and  publishing  is  the  business  of  the 
company,  making  a  specialty  of  the  finest  kind  of  catalog  work, 
both  in  color  work  and  half-tones.  Their  product  is  shipped  to 
every  state  in  the  Union  west  of  the  Mississippi  river  and  to  a 
few  states  in  the  East.  An  up-to-date  linotype  plant  is  run  in 
connection,  setting  the  type  for  from  twelve  to  fifteen  newspapers 
in  this  section.  From  fifteen  to  twenty  people  are  constantly 
employed  and  the  prospects  indicate  that  this  number  will  be 
doubled  in  the  next  two  years.  At  the  present  time  tAvo  floors  of 
the  building  occupied  are  devoted  to  the  business,  with  the  third 
floor  held  in  reserve  for  future  needs.  This  year  a  new  line  of 
business  has  been  added  in  the  importing  and  jobbing  of  wall 
pockets,  leather  goods,  aluminum  goods,  advertising  novelties 
and  the  manufacture  of  calendars,  which  necessitated  a  salesman 
being  placed  on  the  road.     This  establishment  is  equipped  with 


the  latest  and  best  maehinery  for  the  execution  of  high  class 
printing  and  its  present  large  clientage  is  an  excellent  criterion 
for  its  future  success. 

Tlie  Peerless  Rolling  Mills.  Since  the  earliest  days  the  east 
side  of  the  Red  Cedar  river,  near  where  Water  street  crosses  it. 
has  been  the  site  of  a  mill.  For  many  years  the  Engle  mill  was 
there,  and  in  modern  times  the  Peerless  Roller  Mills,  owned  and 
operated  by  A.  S.  Campbell,  occupy  the  same  site.  The  modern 
history  of  the  mills  dates  from  1886,  when  A.  S.  and  L.  G.  Camp- 
bell purchased  a  small  mill  near  the  C,  M.  &  St.  P.  railroad  sta- 
tion. In  1890  they  purchased  the  old  Engle  mill.  Alexander  S. 
Campbell  is  now  the  sole  proprietor.  The  mills  are  run  partly 
by  power  derived  from  a  water  wheel,  but  the  greater  part  of 
the  power  is  generated  in  the  lower  mill,  some  miles  down  the 
river,  and  transmitted  by  wire  to  the  mills  on  Water  street, 
where  it  is  belted  to  the  main  driving  shaft. 

The  Austin  mills  have  a  capacity  of  200  barrels  of  flour  every 
twenty-four  hours.  They  manufacture  the  celebrated  Peerless, 
Diamond  White  and  White  Rose  wheat  flour,  not  only  for  domes- 
tie  trade,  but  for  export,  the  company  making  large  shipments 
to  Great  Britain.  They  also  manufacture  buckwheat  flour  and 
corn  meal.  A.  S.  Campbell  is  the  proprietor  of  the  Peerless  Flour 
Mills  in  Austin  and  also  of  the  Red  Cedar  Mills,  which  are  located 
five  miles  south  of  the  city.  These  mills  run '  constantly,  never 
shutting  down  except  for  repairs.  The  product  is  the  equal  of 
any  in  the  great  flour  state  and  enjoys  a  reputation  with  the  best. 
It  is  in  greatest  demand  by  the  discriminating  housewife  and 

The  Red  Cedar  Mills,  located  south  of  the  city,  are  under  the 
same  ownership  as  the  Peerless  Roller  Mills.  The  mills  were 
built  in  1867  and  1868,  by  Jonathan  Gregson.  In  1875  the  build- 
ing was  enlarged  and  improvements  were  again  made  in  1879. 
The  first  roller  system  in  this  county  was  introduced  in  this  mill. 
The  plant  is  now  equipped  with  a  dynamo,  which  furnishes  power 
for  the  mills  and  also  for  the  Peerless  Mills  at  Austin. 

The  Schleuder  Paper  Company,  wholesale  paper  dealers  and 
manufacturers  of  souvenir  postal  cards,  was  started  in  January, 
1901,  at  305  Main  street.  Later  it  was  moved  to  124  Bridge 
street,  where  the  company  expects  soon  to  open  a  large  retail 
store,  to  be  devoted  exclusively  to  the  stationery  business.  The 
building  and  warehouses  were  erected  in  1903,  and  all  the  build- 
ings now  occupied  by  the  concern  furnish  a  floor  space  of  about 
15,000  square  feet.  About  twenty  hands  are  employed.  The 
printers'  stock,  wrapping  paper,  stationery  and  bags  handled  by 
the  company  find  a  ready  market  in  Minnesota,  Iowa  and  North 
and  Soutli  Dakota,  while  1lic  souvenir  postal  cards  made  liere  are 


sold  from  coast  to  coast.  The  concern  manufactnres  a  great 
many  of  its  specialties,  such  as  tablets,  etc..  and  has  a  large  plant 
devoted  to  the  making  of  souvenir  postal  cards  and  to  the  hand 
coloring  of  local  view  post  cards.  The  officers  of  the  company 
are :  President,  G.  Schleuder ;  vice-president  and  treasurer,  F.  A. 

Sven  Anderson  &  Son  started  in  the  implement  and  carriage 
business  ]\Iarch  1,  189().  in  a  building  at  212  Bridge  street,  on  the 
present  site  of  the  Elk  Hotel.  About  January  1,  1897,  the  monu- 
mental and  cut  stone  business  was  added  to  the  implement  busi- 
ness. During  the  winter  of  1899-1900  the  building  at  216-218 
North  Chatham  street  was  erected  and  occupied.  There  the  busi- 
ness was  conducted  until  February  15,  1909,  when  the  implement 
department  was  sold  to  Anderson  &  Brown.  The  monument  de- 
partment was  continued  at  its  present  location.  January  1.  1906. 
the  shop,  stock,  etc.,  of  T.  J.  Abrahams  was  purchased  and  con- 
ducted at  the  corner  of  Water  and  Franklin  streets  until  the 
lease  of  the  grounds  expired,  August  1,  1908,  at  which  time  the 
present  shop  building  was  completed  and  occupied.  The  business 
is  principally  confined  to  the  making  and  setting  of  monumental 
work  in  this  and  adjoining  counties,  although  work  has  also  been 
done  in  all  of  the  adjoining  states.  The  soldiers  and  sailors' 
monument  and  in  fact  all  the  larger  monuments  in  the  local  ceme- 
tery are  from  this  concern,  as  indeed  are  most  of  the  larger 
monuments  throughout  the  county.  In  connection  with  the 
monumental  work  the  company  furnishes  cut  stone  work  and  has 
executed  many  heavy  contracts  in  this  line  in  Mower  and  Free- 
born counties,  as  well  as  in  other  parts  of  ]\Iinnesota  and  in  Iowa. 

Railroad  Industry.  The  railroads  in  Austin  give  employment 
to  some  one  hundred  and  fifty  men.  In  1867  the  machine  shops  and 
roundhouse  of  the  C,  JM.  &  St.  P.  were  constructed  here.  In 
1887  this  company  moved  its  shops  here  from  \Yells,  receiving  as 
a  bonus  from  the  city  $10,000  in  money  and  ten  acres  of  land. 
Austin  is  one  of  the  big  railroad  centers  of  Minnesota.  Here 
passengers  change  cars  going  north,  south,  east  and  west,  for 
Austin  is  the  division  point  of  six  divisions  of  the  Chicago,  ilil- 
waukee  &  St.  Paul  railroad.  Through  the  heart  of  the  city  runs 
the  through  line  of  the  Chicago  Great  Western,  between  St.  Paul 
and  Omaha.  Through  the  city  will  pass  the  fast  freights  from 
Pugot  Sound  to  Chicago  over  the  Chicago,  ]\Iilwaukee  &  St.  Paul 
road.  Fourteen  passenger  trains  and  forty  freight  trains  run 
into  and  out  of  Austin  on  an  average  every  day  in  the  year.  The 
Chicago.  ^Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  Railroad  Company  pays  from 
$23,000  to  $2r),000  every  month  to  its  employes  in  this  city.  The 
shops  and  roundhouse  of  this  company  give  employment  to  a 
large  and  increasing  force  of  the  best  mechanics,  for  here  every 


engine  on  1,000  miles  of  road  eomes  to  be  repaired  and  refitted  at 
stated  intervals.  Forty-six  of  these  iron  horses  are  eared  for 
exclusively  in  these  shops.  Every  day  from  thirty  to  thirty-five 
locomotives  may  be  counted  in  the  yards  and  the  roundhouse. 
Austin  is  the  inspecting  point  and  every  time,  night  or  day,  that 
a  train  comes  into  this  city  on  the  Chicago,  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul 
line,  every  Pullman  car,  every  day  coach,  every  freight  car  is 
inspected.  There  are  fifty-tM'o  Pullman  and  day  coaches  cleaned 
here  daily  and  their  sanitary  condition  inspected. 

The  Austin  Dairy  Company  was  organized  April  1.  1903,  under 
the  name  of  Austin  Co-Operative  Milk  Company,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  bottling  and  selling  milk  and  cream,  and  later  for  buying 
hand-separated  cream  for  making  butter.  The  company  was 
organized  with  a  capital  stock  of  $6,000-,  with  F.  W.  Kimball, 
president ;  C.  B.  Dibble,  treasurer,  and  J.  J.  Rugg,  secretary  and 
manager.  The  business  was  located  on  the  corner  of  Chatham 
street  and  Oakland  avenue.  On  September  30,  1905,  a  meeting 
of  the  stockholders  was  held,  at  which  time  the  capital  stock  was 
increased  to  $20,000,  the  name  changed  to  Austin  Dairy  Com- 
pany, the  same  officers,  except  treasurer  (D.  H.  Stimson  being 
elected  for  that  place),  elected,  and  the  company  incorporated. 
The  building  at  112  East  Maple  street  was  bought  and  put  in 
shape  to  be  used  as  a  milk  station  and  creamery,  and  the  latter 
part  of  October,  1905,  the  company  moved  from  their  old  quar- 
ters to  their  own  building.  In  the  fall  of  1906  the  building  Avas 
enlarged  and  ice  cream  machinery  piit  in,  since  which  time  they 
have  manufactured  ice  cream  during  the  summer  time.  After 
the  death  of  Mr.  Stimson  in  July,  1907,  ]\Irs.  D.  H.  Stimson  was 
elected  treasurer.  Othei-wise  the  officers  have  remained  the  same. 
In  the  fall  of  1910  the  company  bought  the  property  on  the  corner 
of  Mill  and  Franklin  streets,  known  as  the  Majors  building,  since 
which  time  they  have  been  carrying  on  a  produce  business  in 
eggs  and  poultry.  The  company  employs  six  men  and  two  women 
regularly,  and  in  rush  seasons  a  half  a  dozen  more  men  are 

The  North  Star  Dairy  Company  also  does  a  flourishing  busi- 
ness. A  history  of  this  concern  is  found  in  the  biographical 
sketch  of  Charles  B.  Dibble,  elsewhere  in  this  volume. 

Austin's  Cement  Products.  Cement  drain  tile  has  been  dem- 
onstraled  to  bo  one  of  the  best  materials  for  farm  drainage. 

Nels  Mickelson  manufactures  not  only  cement  block,  brick  and 
tile,  but  also  cement  sewer  pipe  two  feet  in  diameter.  The  city 
of  Austin  has  used  much  of  this  sewer  pipe  and  finds  it  as  satis- 
factory as  the  vitrified  clay  product. 

C.  E.  Dickens  is  one  of  the  oldest  of  the  cement  Avorkers  and 


beside  the  oi'dinary  cement  product  he  produces  much  orna- 
mental cement  work. 

Thomas  Rochford  also  manufactures  fine  grades  of  cement 
block.  He  makes  a  steel  reinforced  cement  post  that  is  much  in 
use  for  fencing  pastures  and  fields. 

M.  P.  Underberger  lays  cement  sidewalks  and  does  cement 

The  Austin  Cement  Stone  and  Tile  Company  was  organized 
and  incorporated  under  the  state  laws  of  Minnesota,  April,  1908, 
for  the  purpose  of  manufacturing  cement  drain  tile,  building 
blocks,  brick,  fence  posts  and  such  other  articles  as  pertain  to 
cement  construction.  The  original  capital  stock  Avas  $50,000 
preferred  and  common,  the  incorporators  and  first  officers  being : 
President,  C.  H.  AVebber :  secretary,  J.  L.  Mitchell ;  treasurer  and 
manager,  E.  W.  Marsh.  The  officers  still  remain  the  same.  The 
plant  is  located  in  the  city  of  Austin,  just  south  of  the  George 
A.  Hormel  &  Co.  plant,  and  the  building  is  of  heavy  concrete 
block,  equipped  with  the  latest  modern  machinery,  including  a 
forty  horse-power  boiler  and  a  twenty-five  horse-power  electric 
motor.  The  plant  has  a  floor  space  of  9,000  square  feet,  including 
three  steam-tight  curing  rooms.  Some  fifteen  to  eighteen  men  are 
employed.  The  daily  output  of  the  drain  tile  varies  from  3,000 
to  5,000  per  day,  according  to  the  size.  The  drain  tile  and  build- 
ing blocks  find  a  large  market  in  Austin  and  vicinity,  but  much 
i.s  also  shipped  to  distant  points.  This  plant  is  the  first  of  its 
kind  started  in  this  city,  and  has  been  very  successful.  Its  aim 
is  to  excel  in  the  quality  of  its  manufactured  goods,  and  all  its 
products  are  steam-cured  and  made  by  the  latest  improved 
methods.  The  company  owns  the  land  upon  which  the  plant  is 
located  and  also  a  fine  sandpit  of  fifteen  acres.  The  office  is  at 
321  North  ^Main  street. 

Woodworking.  Austin  lias  two  Avoodworking  establishments, 
those  of  r.  F.  Stillman  and  Henry  Waterman.  The  story  of  tliese 
plants  is  told  in  the  sketches  of  their  respective  owners. 

Printing  and  Binding.  Austin  has  an  excellent  book  bindery, 
that  of  J.  M.  Beck,  and  each  of  the  newspapers  have  .iob  printing 
departments.     The  MeCulloeh  company  is  mentioned  elsewhere. 

Machine  and  Wagon  Shops.  Austin  has  two  splendid  machine 
sliops,  each  employing  mechanics  capable  of  doing  any  repair 
work  and  doing  it  well  and  quickly.  There  are  two  Avagon  shops 
Avhere  A'ehicles  are  not  only  repaired  but  AA'here  ncAV  ones  are 
built  for  the  trade.  A  gunmaker  is  also  located  here.  The  ma- 
cliine  shop  proprietors  are  J.  E.  Hanson  and  Arthur  Carlson: 
the  Avagon  makers,  J.  Z.  Rogers  and  "W.  ]\r.  Hanson,  and  the  gun- 
maker  is  Henry  C.  "Waldecker.  There  are  three  exclusive  l)lack- 
smith  establishments,  Sorenson  &  Neilson  and  Lars  Hansen. 


Austin  Candy  Company  manufactures  all  grades  of  pure  con- 
fections from  taft'y  to  creams.  It  ships  goods  as  far  west  as 
McLeod,  Mont.  It  also  manufactures  for  the  jobbers  in  the 
Twin  Cities  and  for  the  local  trade.  Experienced  candy  makers 
are  employed. 

The  Cummings  Brush  Manufacturing  Company  has  been  in 
operation  since  August,  1910,  and  while  only  a  new  business,  it 
lias  created  a  great  demand  for  its  manufactured  goods.  The 
Cummings  brushes  are  on  the  market  in  many  of  our  largest 
cities,  handled  by  jobbers  and  wholesalers  in  Cincinnati,  New 
York  City,  Philadelphia,  Chicago,  St.  Louis,  Des  Moines,  Kansas 
City,  Omaha,  Council  Bluft's,  Minneapolis,  St.  Paul,  LaCrosse/, 
Dubuque,  Waterloo,  Cedar  Rapids  and  many  other  towns  and  vil- 
lages. Mr.  Cummings  has  put  out  a  very  neat  and  up-to-date 
catalogue  and  his  system  of  putting  manufactured  goods  on  the 
market  has  proved  a  success  in  every  line  he  has  undertaken. 
Mr.  Cummings  will  add  more  machinery  and  increase  the  capacity 
to  meet  the  demands  for  liis  manufactured  goods. 

T.  F.  Cummings  Bottling  Works. — In  February,  1894,  this  con- 
cern was  started  in  a  small  way  and  now  its  daily  capacity  is 
500  cases.  All  kinds  of  soft  drinks  are  made  and  bottled  here. 
The  water  used  is  from  the  Trio  Siloam  springs.  These  springs 
are  of  the  purest  water  and  as  they  have  medicinal  qualities  are 
carbonated  and  bottled.  Mr.  Cummings  prides  himself  that 
every  constituent  that  is  used  in  the  manufacture  of  his  bottled 
goods  is  the  purest  that  the  market  affords.  Mr.  Cummings  also 
has  a  large  trade  in  table  and  bar  glassAvare. 

E.  H.  Smith  Land  &  Loan  Company.  This  business  was  estab- 
lished November  I,  1900,  with  E.  H.  Smith  as  manager  and 
remains  the  same  at  this  date.  For  several  years  the  business 
consisted  principally  of  buying  and  selling  western  lands  par- 
ticularly in  western  Minnesota  and  North  Dakota,  also  doing 
considerable  business  in  western  Canada.  Since  1905"  the  firm 
has  done  a  large  business  in  Montana  in  both  irrigated  and  dry 
lands.  Commencing  with  the  fall  of  1909  it  has  done  a  large 
business  in  southern  Minnesota  and  northern  Iowa  selling  prin- 
cipally to  central  Iowa  and  northern  Illinois  farmers,  and  during 
this  period  has  located  nearly  one  hundred  well-to-do  farmers 
from  the  east  and  south  in  southern  ]\Iiunesota  and  northern 
Iowa.  It  also  does  an  extensive  farm  loan  business,  marketing 
its  securities  principally  in  the  east.  It  also  has  one  of  the  lead- 
ing fire  insurance  agencies  in  the  city.  The  E.  H.  Smith  Land  & 
Loan  Company  was  the  first  exclusive  real  estate  and  loan  busi- 
ness established  in  the  county.  Mr.  Smith  was  born  and  raised  in 
Mower  county,  has  traveled  extensively  through  the  middle  and 


western  states,  aud  is,  witliout  tloulit.  one  of  the  best  j)()slc,l  i-eal 
estate  men  in  the  Noitliwest. 

Austin  Cement  Works.  Jn  the  s[)ring-  of  tlie  year  1893  Frank 
Fowler,  the  senior  meinlier  of  the  eopartnership  of  Fowler  &  Pay. 
quarry  owners  and  nianut'aeturers  of  building  materials  of  IMan- 
kato,  Minn.,  finding  that  the.  trade  required  something  better  for 
stone  and  briek  building  purposes  than  the  mortar  in  general 
use  at  that  time,  and  being  a  geologist  of  more  than  the  average 
knowledge  and  a  chemist  of  no  mean  ability,  he  started  a  general 
search  for  a  particular  kind  of  stone  from  which  a  first  class 
grade  of  natural  cement  could  be  manufactured.  After  much 
seeking  over  this  and  adjoining  states  aud  an  almost  discourag- 
ing number  of  fruitless  experiments  with  the  different  kinds  of 
stone  found,  the  particular  kind  of  stone  wanted  was  finally 
located  in  Mower  county,  Minnesota,  three  and  one-half  miles 
south  of  the  city  of  Austin  on  the  banks  of  Rose  creek  (a  tribu- 
tary of  the  Cedar  river)  near  both  the  Chicago  Great  Western 
and  Chicago,  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  railways,  thereby  affording 
the  best  of  shipping  facilities.  The  necessary  land  containing 
this  stone  was  immediately  secured,  all  preparations  made  and 
the  building  of  this  works  stai'ted  early  in  the  following  year 
(189-i).  This  work,  consisting  of  opening  a  stone  quarry,  grad- 
ing for  the  railroad  tracks,  erecting  buildings  containing  about 
two  acres  of  floor  space  and  installingthe  machinery  was  rushed 
to  completion  in  record  time  under  the  able  personal  supervision 
of  the  then,  as  now,  only  members  of  the  firm,  Frank  Fowler  and 
Frank  B.  Pay,  at  a  cost  of  about  $50,000  and  named  the  Austin 
Cement  Works.  After  a  short  period  of  successful  manufacture 
of  a  first  class  grade  of  cement  known  as  Austin  natural  cement, 
the  entire  works  were  destroyed  by  fire.  This  calamity  coming 
so  soon  after  the  expense  of  building  the  works  and  creating  a 
demand  for  its  product  would  naturally  be  very  discouraging  to 
the  strongest  hearts  and  a  much  larger  bank  account,  but  the 
owners  of  the  remaining  pile  of  ashes  and  ruined  machinery  being 
men  of  the  "never  say  die"  type  immediately  resumed  work 
where  they  had  so  recently  finished  and  erected  buildings  one- 
third  larger  than  those  destroyed  by  the  fire.  This  work,  as 
before,  was  rushed  to  completion  aud  the  finished  product  placed 
on  the  market  in  the  shortest  possible  time  without  having  sold 
or  offered  any  stock  for  sale.  Fowler  &  Pay  still  being  the  sole 
owners  and  operators.  The  works  have  been  in  almost  constant 
operation  since  the  time  of  rebuilding  and  employ  twenty-five 
men  daily,  improvements  having  been  made  from  time  to  time 
that  have  increased  the  capacity  to  100,000  barrels  annually  of  a 
better  grade  of  natural  cement  and  bricklayers"  cement  than  any 
natural  cement  works  in  this  country.     This  cement  is  recom- 

226  H18T0KY  OF  MOWEK  COU^'TY 

mended  for  all  kinds  of  brick  and  stone  building  purposes,  under 
street  paving,  cellar  floors  and  cisterns,  as  it  sets  quite  rapidly 
under  water;  a  market  for  the  bulk  of  this  material  is  found 
throughout  the  great  Northwest.  In  connection  with  the  Austin 
Cement  Works  there  are  five  family  houses  and  a  large  boarding 
house  for  the  convenience  of  the  employees  who  desire  to  live 
near  their  work,  also  a  large  farm,  a  part  of  which  the  resident 
employees  have  for  pasture  and  gardening  purposes,  rent  free. 
It  has  always  been  the  policy  of  this  firm  to  treat  its  customers, 
employees,  neighbors  and  friends  with  the  utmost  consideration 
in  all  business  or  other  affairs,  and  they  have  shown  their  appre- 
ciation for  seventeen  years  by  there  never  having  been  any 
serious  litigation,  labor  troubles  or  any  disturbance  that  is  so 
disastrous  to  the  good  will  that  should  exist  between  all  parties 

Other  industries  of  Austin  are  as  follows :  Real  estate  and 
insurance:  E.  H.  Smith  Land  Company,  Four  Counties  Land 
Company,  Southern  Minnesota  Land  Company,  Gilbert  Sorflaten, 
James  Sneider,  F.  P.  Dawes  &  Co.,  F.  A.  Tichenor,  Lyman  D. 
Baird,  Alfred  C.  Page,  Rockford  Land  Company,  C.  H.  Webber, 
J.  D.  SheedJ^  Fuel :  Gripman  Bros.,  John  F.  Fairbanks,  Mower 
County  Co-operative  Elevator  and  Fuel  Company,  and  all  the 
lumber  yards.  Stock  dealers:  F.  P.  Dawes,  A.  R.  Thompson, 
W.  P.  Miner,  Elihue  B.  Smith.  Horse  dealers:  Edward  D.  and 
Michael  J.  Feeney.  Junk  dealers:  Charles  Dubinsky,  R.  Rosen- 
thal. Telephones:  Interstate,  Northwestern.  Liveries:  Furtney 
&  Bassett,  H.  0.  Peck.  Hacks  and  carriages:  John  R.  Mears. 
Bakeries:  Home  bakery,  People's  bakery,  A.  V.  McConnell. 
Barbers:  Roy  Woodard,  Martin,  Lee,  A.  M.  Lee,  A.  C.  Hanson, 
Gyp.  Ilillam,  George  Heimer,  C.  W.  Brown,  Roy  Chaffee,  William 
Bump,  Putnam  &  Casper.  Tailors :  H.  0.  Herman,  F.  C.  Price, 
AVilliam  Cutter,  Henry  Jacobs.  Auctioneers:  Lovell  &  Herzog, 
J.  S.  Attlesey.  Contractors  and  Iniilders:  Sullivan  &  Schroedel, 
George  Beckel,  Lars  P.  Erickson,  T.  Beatty,  Torger  Martinson, 
C.  F.  Stillman,  Henry  Waterman.  Greenhouse :  A.  N.  Kinsman. 
Nurseries:  J.  M.  Lindsey.  C.  F.  Woodle.  Painters:  W.  J.  Avery, 
J.  L.  Cooley.  Theaters:  Idle  Hour,  Bijou.  Photographers:  Fair- 
banks Bros.,  George  Bucklin,  II.  C.  Bishop,  ^l.  II.  Vosburgli. 
Tee:  Gripman  Bros.,  S.  L.  Young.  Austin  Rug  Co.  Austin  Brush 
AVorks.  Fjuinlx'i'  yai'ds:  F.  T.  Ci-ane,  Slower  County  Liunl)ei- 
Company.  Ei']ii)S('  l^uinljci-  Company.  Elevators:  Iluntting  Ele- 
vator Company,  W.  TJ.  Symes.  Gi-iin  buyers:  E.  T.  Beemis, 
Af.  B.  O'llalloraii,  AV,  TI.  Syuu-s.  Restaurants:  Normal  res- 
taurant, the  Gem,  Antliony  .N.  Roble.  PTotels:  Elk,  Fo.x.  Grand. 
Depot,  Harrington,  Central,  German,  American.  Agricultural 
ittipleiiicnts :  .\ustiti  I'luiiibing  and  Healing  Com]>any,  AV.  A.  Alur- 


ray,  AVm.  Christie  &  Son.  Meat  dealers:  J.  P.  Zender,  11.  P. 
Zender,  Central  Market.  Laundries:  Austin  Steam  Laundry, 
Austin  Purity  Laundry.  Electricians:  liursli  &  Wood,  Iluinmcl 



Masonic  Orders — Odd  Fellows — Pythian  Orders— Catholic  Orders 
— Order  of  Elks — Other  Fraternal  Orders— Patriotic  Orders — 
Catholic  Orders  —  Railroad  Orders  —  Fraternal  Insurance  — 
Scandinavian  and  Teutonic  Lodges  Industrial — Driving  Asso- 
ciation— Edited  by  Osman  J.  Simmons. 

The  sociability  and  spirit  of  brotlierliness  which  exists  in 
Austin  is  shown  by  the  number  of  societies  and  clubs  tliat  flourish 
here.  Practically  all  the  standard  organizations  are  represented, 
some  of  the  local  lodges  dating  back  to  the  seventies.  In  order 
to  furnish  a  meeting  place  for  this  large  niimber  of  orders,  halls 
have  been  equipped  as  follows:  ^Masonic  hall,  Elks'  hall,  Colum- 
bus hall,  Kinsman's  hall,  G.  A.  R.  hall,  Harmona  hall,  I.  O.  O.  F. 
hall.  Commercial  Club  rooms,  and  the  "Woodmen's  hall  (Hirsch). 
All  these  halls  are  conveniently  located,  nicely  furnished  and 
well  adapted  to  the  purpose  for  which  they  are  intended. 

In  this  chapter  it  has  been  the  aim  to  give  briefly  the  history 
of  the  leading  fraternities  of  Austin.  The  societies  Avhose  his- 
tories do  not  appear  here  are  those  whose  secretaries  have  re- 
fused to  furnish  the  desired  information. 


iMasonry  in  Austin  dates  back  to  the  first  year  of  the  Civil 
Avar.  The  Masons  of  the  city  now  have  a  fine  liall  and  are  rep- 
resented by  four  local  bodies:  Austin  Chapter,  No.  14,  R.  A.  ^I. ; 
St.  Bernard  Commandery,  No.  13,  Knights  Templar;  Fidelity 
Lodge,  No.  89.  A.  F.  &  A.  :\r..  and  Unity  Cliapter,  No.  29,  O.  E.  S. 

Fidelity  Lodge,  No.  39,  A.  F.  &  A.  M.,  was  organized  Dccembei- 
5,  186],  under  a  dispensation  granted  by  tlie  Right  AVorshipful 
Grand  ^Master  of  tlic  State  of  Minnesota,  tlie  meeting  Ix'ing  held 
at  "Masonic  hall.  The  officers  and  members  pn'sciil  were  as  fol- 
loAVS:  B.  F.  Jones,  AV.  ^[.-  E.  W.  Lord,  S.  AV. :  A.  S.  Lott,  J.  AV. : 
II.  C.  Huntington,  treasurer;  Oliver  Somers,  secretary;  E.  Parli- 
nuvn,  T. ;  J.  L.  Clark,  A.  Galloway.    A  charter  was  granted  by  the 


grand  lodge  October  28.  ]863,  and  sigued  by  the  folloAving  grand 
officers :  Most  Worshipfnl  A.  T.  C.  Piersou,  grand  master ;  Right 
Worshipfal  S.  Y.  ^Mc^Masters,  D.D.,  LL.  D.,  depi;ty  grand  master ; 
Right  Worshipful  Levi  E.  Thompson,  grand  senior  warden; 
Right  Worshipful  Clark  W.  Thompson,  grand  junior  warden. 
The  following  were  named  as  officers :  B.  F.  Jones  to  be  ^Y.  M., 
James  C.  Ackley  to  be  S.  W.,  and  Oliver  Somers  to  be  J.  W.  The 
lodge  was  constituted  February  3,  1864,  and  AY.  M.  James  C.  Ack- 
erly,  who  had  previously  been  installed  by  A.  T.  C.  Pierson, 
G.  M.,  installed  the  following  officers :  0.  Somers,  S.  W. ;  V.  P. 
Lewis,  J.  W. ;  A.  D.  Fenton,  treasurer ;  LeRoy  Hathaway,  secre- 
tary; 0.  W.  Sawyer,  S.  D. ;  J.  C.  Smith,  J.  D. ;  H.  Houseman,  T. ; 
H.  C.  Huntington,  S.  S. ;  A.  S.  Lott,  J.  S.  The  following  have 
been  grand  masters:  B.  F.  Jones,  1861-63;  James  Ackerly,  1864; 
Oliver  Somers,  1865-66;  LeRoy  Hathaway,  1867-70;  Daniel  B. 
Johnson,  Jr. ;  A.  J.  Phelps,  1869 ;  G.  G.  Clemmer,  1871-73 ;  John 
M.  Greenman,  1874;  William  T.  Wilkins,  1875-1880-81;  I.  Ing- 
mundson,  1876-1878-79;  J.  AY.  Eldridge,  1877;  Charles  L.  AVest, 
1882-1886;  Joseph  Adams,  1883-84-85;  William  Todd,  1887-88- 
89-1905;  Lewis  E.  Day,  1890;  Sumner  A.  Emerson,  1891-92-93; 
Russell  E.  Shepherd,  1894-95 ;  Alfred  C.  Page,  1896-97 ;  Fred  B. 
Wood,  1898-99;  John  H.  Anderson,  1900-01-02;  John  H.  Robert- 
son, 1903-04;  M.  O.  Anderson,  1906-07;  George  Dutcher,  1908: 
Peter  Hanson,  1909-10 ;  Fred  C.  IJlmer,  1911.  The  present  officers 
are :  Fred  C.  Ulmer,  W.  M. ;  Fred  L.  AYilliams,  S.  AY. ;  Gustave 
Butzke,  J.  AY. ;  Charles  L.  AA'^est,  treasurer ;  Floyd  H.  Ober,  sec- 
retary; O.  J.  Benton,  S.  D. ;  AA'illiam  P.  Bennett,  J.  D. ;  Rev. 
B.  H.  AA^histon,  C. ;  J.  AY.  Hare,  S.  S. ;  Guy  V.  Burlingame,  J.  S. ; 
Charles  E.  AA^arren,  T.  The  present  Masonic  hall  on  the  second 
floor  of  the  Schleuder  building  is  owned  jointly  by  the  Blue 
Lodge,  Chapter  and  Commandery.  A  site  has  been  purchased 
on  AA'ater  street,  facing  the  north  end  of  Chatham  street,  for  the 
purpose  of  erecting  thereon  a  Masonic  temple.  John  AL  Green- 
man  is  the  oldest  living  past  master  of  the  lodge,  and  Charles  L. 
West,  one  of  the  past  masters,  is  deputy  grand  master  of 
the  state  grand  lodge. 

Austin  Chapter,  No.  14,  Royal  Arch  Masons,  was  organized 
under  a  dispensation,  Alarcli  8,  18(17,  tlie  following  officers  having 
been  appointed  by  Grand  Iligli  Priest  B.  F.  Smith:  Charles  H. 
Paddock,  H.  P.;  Solomon  Snow,  K. ;  A.  B.  Vaughan,  S.  The 
companions  present  were  E.  C.  Dorr,  C.  B.  Staples,  AA^.  AA^.  Brown- 
son,  B.  F.  Jones,  J.  F.  Sargent  and  C.  Tripp.  The  dispensa- 
tion had  been  granted  to  the  following  companions :  Charles  H. 
Paddock,  C.  B.  Staples,  E.  C.  Dorr,  Solomon  SnoAV,  S.  Partridge, 
B.  F.  Jones,  A.  W.  Wliite,  A.  B.  Vaughan  and  AA^.  AY.  Brownson. 
A  charter  was  <.'raiife(l  by  1he  grand  chapter,  October  23,  1867, 


and  sig-ned  by  tlio  following  grand  officers:  B.  F.  Smith,  G.  H.  P.; 
Charles  N.  Danils,  D.  G.  H.  P. ;  A.  T.  C.  Pierson,  G.  K. ;  C.  W. 
Nash,  G.  S.,  being  consecrated  December  25,  1867.  The  following 
officers,  who  had  previously  been  elected,  were  installed:  C.  H. 
Paddock,  II.  P. ;  S.  Snow,  K. ;  A.  B.  Vaughan,  S. ;  H.  M.  Allen, 
C.  of  H. :  C.  J.  Paddock,  P.  S. ;  L.  R.  Hathaway,  R.  A.  C. ;  B.  F. 
Jones,  M.  of  third  V. ;  L.  A.  Sherwood,  M.  of  second  V. ;  G.  G'. 
Clemmer,  31.  of  first  V. ;  S.  Smith,  treasurer ;  J.  C.  Smith,  secre- 
tary; L.  W.  Smith,  sentinel.  The  following  have  been  high 
priests:  Charles  H.  Paddock,  1867-68;  C.  J.  Paddock,  1868-69; 
A.  J.  Phelps,  1869-70;  C.  J.  Paddock,  1870-71;  Solomon  Snow, 
1871-73;  A.  J.  Phelps,  1873-74;  R.  B.  Davis,  1874-75;  I.  Ingmind- 
scn,  1875-76 ;  Charles  L.  West,  1876-77 ;  I.  Ingmundson,  1877-78 ; 
Charles  L.  West,  1878-82 ;  Eugene  Wood,  1882-88 ;  Nathan  Kings- 
ley,  1888-90 ;  Charles  L.  West,  1890-93 ;  William  Todd,  1893-97 ; 
George  W.  Bliss,  1897-1900:  R.  L.  Johnson,  1900-01;  George 
Doehne,  Jr.,  1901-03;  Wallace  Gregson,  1903-07;  Thaddeus  S. 
Thompson,  1907-08;  John  H.  Anderson,  1908-09;  I.  T.  Tollifson, 
1909-10;  Thaddeus  S.  Thompson,  1911.  The  present  officers  are: 
Thaddeus  S.  Thompson,  H.  P. ;  Peter  Hanson,  K. ;  G.  ]\I.  F.  Rogers, 
8. :  William  Todd,  treasurer :  Floyd  H.  Ober,  secretary ;  F.  L. 
AYilliams,  C.  of  H. ;  R.  L.  DeGroodt,  P.  S. ;  Guy  Burlingame, 
R.  A.  C. ;  AY.  P.  Bennett,  M.  of  third  V. ;  C.  A.  Carlson,  M.  of  sec- 
ond Y. ;  Irvin  Fox,  M.  of  first  V. ;  C»  E.  Warren,  sentinel.  Of  the 
past  high  priests,  C.  L.  West,  William  Todd  and  Nathan  Kingsley 
are  past  grand  high  priests  of  the  state  grand  chapter,  and  Judge 
Kingsley  is  grand  high  priest  of  the  genei'al  grand  chapter  of 
Royal  Arch  Masons  of  the  United  States  of  America  and  her 

St.  Bernard  Commandery,  No.  13,  Knights  Templar,  had  its 
beginning  January  20,  1881,  when  the  Grand  Commander  of  the 
State  of  Minnesota  granted  to  D.  B.  Smith,  as  E.  C. ;  Eugene 
Wood  as  G.  and  J.  S.  Anderson  as  C.  G.,  permission  to  organize 
a  commandery  at  Austin.  The  first  conclave  was  held  January 
31,  1881,  and  the  above  named  officers  were  present.  The  emi- 
nent commander  appointed  the  following  officers:  D.  B.  Johnson, 
Jr.,  prelate  ;  J.  G.  AYarner,  S.  A\\  ;  Stephen  Ives,  J.  AY. ;  E.  C.  Dorr, 
treasurer:  C.  H.  Davidson,  recorder;  John  ]\Iahoney,  standard 
bearer ;  AI.  E.  Frisbee,  S.  AY. ;  John  Frank,  warden  :  A.  K.  A'^andei-- 
walker,  sentinel.  The  charter  was  granted  by  the  grand  com- 
mandery, January  24,  1881,  and  was  signed  by  the  following 
grand  officers:  AYilliam  AA^'illiston,  G.  C. ;  Robert  L.  AlcCormick, 
D.  G.  C:  Luther  Z.  Rogers.  G.  G. ;  AYilliam  G.  Bronson.  The 
commandery  was  duly  constituted  July  28,  1881,  by  Grand  Com- 
mander R.  L.  McCormiek,  assisted  by  L.  Z.  Rogers,  G. ;  Henry 
Birkett,  C.  G.-.  L.  AViieelock,  P.    Tbo-e  were  present  twenty-tliree 


Sir  Knights  of  the  eomniaudery  at  Owatonna,  and  the  following 
officers  were  duly  installed:  D.  B.  Smith,  E.  C. ;  Eugene  Wood, 
G. ;  J.  S.  Anderson,  C.  G. ;  E.  B.  Crane,  P. ;  E.  C.  Dorr,  treasurer ; 

C.  H.  Davidson,  recorder ;  W.  H.  Sutherland,  S.  W. ;  F.  D.  Decker, 
J.  W.;  A.  Friedrich,  St.  B. ;  E.  R.  Daniels,  S.  B. ;  E.  H.  Gerard, 
warden;  J.  B.  Beecher,  George  Haraberg,  H.  W.  Wilson,  guards; 
A.  K.  Vanderwalker.    The  following  have  been  the  commanders: 

D.  B.  Smith,  1881-85;  Eugene  Wood,  1885-87;  J.  S.  Anderson, 
1887-88;  A.  Friedrich,  1888-89  and  1894-95;  C.  L.  West,  1889-90; 
C.  I.  Johnson,  1890-91 ;  B.  F.  Farmer,  1891-92 ;  Nathan  Kiugsley, 
1892-94;  N.  S.  Gordon,  1896-97;  Henry  Birkett,  1897-98;  A.  Mol- 
lison,  1898-99;  George  W.  Bliss,  1899-1900;  F.  B.  Wood,  1901-02; 
John  Ober,  1902-03;  George  Doehne,  Jr.,  1903-04;  George  E.  An- 
derson, 1905-06;  William  Todd,  1906-07;  Wallace  Gregson,  1907- 
08;  C.  F.  Lewis,  1908-09;  A.  C.  Page,  1909-11;  J.  H.  Anderson, 
1911.  The  present  officers  are:  J.  H.  Anderson,  E.  C. ;  William 
Crane,  G. ;  A.  C.  Page,  C.  G. ;  F.  L.  Williams,  S.  AY. ;  G.  M.  F.  Rog- 
ers, J.  AY. ;  J.  L.  Mitchell,  treasurer ;  W.  P  Bennett,  recorder ; 
C.L.AYest,  prelate  ;  Peter  Hanson,  St.  B. ;  Jacob  Nicholson,  Sw.  B. ; 
AA'illiam  Cutter,  AY. ;  C.  E.  AYarren,  sentinel.  Eugene  AA^ood  is  the 
oldest  living  past  commander.  C.  L.  AYest,  a  past  commander, 
lias  been  grand  commander  of  the  state  commandery. 

Unity  Chapter,  No.  29,  0.  E.  S.,  was  organized  INIarch  20,  1890. 
Tlie  first  officers  were:  Mrs.  Alibie  L.  Crane,  worthy  matron; 
Eugene  AVood.  worthy  patron ;  Sirs.  Fannie  Gordon,  secretary. 
Tlie  present  officers  are:  Airs.  Eloise  AYilliams,  Avorthy  matron; 
Floyd  Ober,  worthy  patron ;  Mrs.  Edith  K.  Robinson,  secretary ; 
Mrs.  Lena  Dawes,  treasurer ;  Cora  Dovenburg,  conductress :  Kate 
Todd,  assistant  conductress ;  Ada,  Airs.  Gladys  Dockstader ; 
Ruth,  Helen  Olson;  Esther,  ATrs.  Eva  Hope;  Alartha,  Airs.  Alice 
Hall ;  Electa,  Frances  Lewis ;  chaplain.  Airs.  Rose  Pettingill ;  mar- 
slial.  Airs,  Jesse  Hall;  Airs.  Nellie  Allen;  warden.  Airs. 
Nellie  DeGroodt :  sentinel,  Airs.  E.  C.  Sutherland. 


Odd  Fellowship  in  Austin  dates  from  1867.  The  order  is  now 
represented  in  Austin  l)y  tliree  bodies,  Austin  Lodge,  No.  20, 
I.  0.  0.  F. ;  Austin  Encampment,  No.  29,  T.  0.  0.  F.,  and  Esther 
Rebekah  Lodge,  No.  4,  I.  O.  0.  F. 

Austin  Lodge,  No.  20,  L  0.  0.  F.,  received  its  charter,  Decein- 
l)cr  5,  1807,  and  tlie  lodge  was  instituted  with  the  following 
cliartcr  members;  II.  A.  Alaliew,  E.  P.  LeSuer,  O.  S.  Druery, 
Stephen  Ives,  L.  G.  Dudley.  Oliver  Somers,  Aaron  S.  Everest, 
I>.;isil  Smout.  L.  AY.  Smitli.  Tyler  AY.  AA^iodard,  A.  J.  Phelps,  L. 


Bouregard,  N.  P.  Austin,  R.  J.  Smith  and  Joseph  Schwau.  Tlie 
first  meeting  was  held  in  a  building  on  the  site  now  occupied  by 
the  Austin  Furniture  Company.  Afterwards  meetings  were  held 
on  the  third  floor  of  Richards'  block,  corner  of  Main  and  Mill 
street.  The  lodge  owns  the  west  half  of  Odd  Fellows  block,  and 
is  free  from  debt,  with  a  good  surplus  in  its  treasury.  It  has  at 
tlie  present  time  420  members  on  the  register,  and  is  in  a  most 
flourishing  condition.  On  two  occasions  it  has  been  honored 
signally  by  the  selection  from  its  ranks  of  grand  masters  as  fol- 
lows: H.  A.  i\Iahew,  1869;  D.  II.  Stimson,  1897.  Both  of  these 
gentlemen  served  the  state  lodge  with  credit  and  distinction.  The 
first  elective  oiificers  of  Austin  lodge  were  H.  A.  Mahew,  N.  G.  ;• 
Oliver  Somers,  V.  G. ;  E.  P.  LeSuer,  secretary ;  0.  S.  Druery,  treas- 
urer. The  present  elective  officers  are  Frank  Felch,  N.  G. ;  James 
King,  V.  G. ;  E.  F.  Peck,  secretary ;  Fialler  Mann,  treasurer ;  H.  P. 
Chapin,  chaplain. 

Following  is  a  list  of  the  early  No))le  Grands :  H.  A.  May- 
hew,  Oliver  Somers,  A.  S.  Everest,  R.  I.  Smith,  C.  H.  Davidson, 
Joseph  Schwan,  Herman  Gunz,  A.  G.  Lawyer,  George  F.  Fren- 
vvith,  E.  P.  Van  Valkenburgh,  John  Chandler,  Rush  B.  Davis,  F. 
J.  ^layhew,  A.  E.  Meigs,  P.  0.  French,  Joseph  Reinsmith,  Lafay- 
ette French,  D.  H.  Stimson,  A.  W.  Kimball,  C.  H.  Wilboiir,  H.  W. 
Elms,  Edward  Bigelow,  "\Y.  H.  H.  Bullock,  John  V.  Owens  and 
S.  Sweningsen. 

Esther  Rebekah  Lodge,  No.  4,  I.  0.  0.  F.,  was  instituted 
March  10,  1870.  with  twenty-four  charter  members.  It  has  been 
prominent  in  charitable  work  and  has  furnished  a  pleasing  so- 
cial feature  to  Odd  Fellowship  in  Austin.  The  present  officers 
are :  ilrs.  ^laria  Edson.  N.  G. ;  Mrs.  Fannie  Herzog,  V.  G. ; 
]Mrs.  Inez  ]M.  Elward,  secretary ;  ]Miss  Myrtle  Edson,  treasurer. 


The  principles  of  the  Pythian  fellowship  are  represented  in 
Austin  by  two  bodies,  Austin  Lodge,  No.  55,  K.  P.,  and  F'lora 
Temple,  No.  26.  Pythian  Sisters. 

Austin  Lodge,  No.  55,  K.  of  P.,  was  instituted  May  27,  1889, 
with  forty-three  charter  members.  The  first  officers  were:  C.  C, 
H.  R.  Wood;  V.  C,  L.  Dettlebach;  prelate,  R.  O.  Hall;  M.  of  E., 
A.  B.  Ilunkins;  M.  of  E.,  William  INI.  Rol)erts;  M.  of  A.,  Fred  B. 
Wood;  I.  G.,  Sam.  L.  Collins;  O.  G.,  W.  H.  Benedict;  trustees, 
E.  B.  Sterling,  E.  G.  Potter  and  R.  0.  Hall.  The  present  officers 
are:  C.  C,  W.  J.  rrl)atch ;  V.  C,  W.  L.  Van  Camp;  prelate,  C.  F. 
Cook;  K.  of  H.  and  S.  and  M.  of  F..  William  Cutter;  M.  of  E.. 
II.  A.  Goslee;  M.  of  W.,  O.  J.  Simmons. 



Tlie  Elks  in  Austin  are  in  flourishing  condition,  the  member- 
ship is  of  a  high  degree,  and  the  quarters  are  very  pleasant. 

Austin  Lodge  No.  414,  Benevolent  and  Protective  Order  of 
Elks  was  instituted  February  16,  1898,  by  District  Deputy  Grand 
Exalted  Ruler  Jolm  E.  King,  of  St.  Paul.  The  ceremony  of  in- 
stitution was  held  in  the  court  room  of  the  court  house.  The 
lodge  then  leased  what  is  noAv  known  as  Odd  Fellows'  hall  and 
remained  there  until  February  15,  1901,  Avhen  they  dedicated 
their  present  home.  The  first  officers  of  the  lodge  were :  Exalted 
ruler,  R.  J.  Dowdall;  E.  L.  K.,  J.  J.  Furlong;  E.  L.  K.,  R.  R, 
Murphy;  E.  L.  K.,  T.  C.  Grant;  secretary,  W.  A.  Kubat;  treas 
urer,  E.  Wood;  tyler,  J.  J.  Hayes:  trustees,  J.  M.  Greenman,  Jos 
Keenan  and  S.  Sweningsen.  The  following  have  served  as  pre 
biding  officers  of  the  lodge:  R.  J.  Dowdall,  J.  J.  Furlong,  0.  J. 
Simmons,  A.  S.  Campbell,  L.  D.  Baird,  W.  N.  Kendrick,  W.  D 
Rosbaeh,  J.  S.  Wood,  A.  C.  Page,  J.  L.  Gulden,  C.  I.  Riley,  and 
E.  H.  Elward.  The  present  officers  are :  Exalted  ruler,  Harry 
Rutherford ;  E.  L.  K.,  R.  A.  Woodward ;  E.  L.  K.,  J.  J.  Scallan ; 
E.  L.  K.,  M.  F.  Dugan;  secretary,  J.  S.  Wood;  treasurer,  W.  J. 
Urbatch ;  tyler,  A.  P.  ]\loonan ;  trustees,  P.  Bump,  0.  J.  Simmons 
and  W.  E.  Terry.  This  lodge  has  been  honored  in  the  fact  thf\t 
0.  J.  Simmons  was  district  deputy  grand  exalted  ruler  under 
Grand  Exalted  Ruler  William  J.  0  'Brien  in  1904-05. 


Lookout  Aerie,  No.  703,  Fraternal  Order  of  Eagles,  and  a  nest 
of  the  Order  of  Owls,  are  located  here,  and  have  a  fair  member- 
ship among  the  young  men  of  the  city. 

Lookout  Aerie,  No.  703,  F.  0.  E.,  was  instituted  May  3,  1904, 
by  J.  AV.  Shadewald,  8.  D.  G.  P.,  with  a  charter  list  of  sixty-six 
members.  The  officers  were:  J.  H.  Bryon,  P.  W.  P.;  J.  J. 
Adams,  W.  P. ;  W.  R.  Terry,  W.  V.  P. ;  J.  D.  Smith,  W.  C. ;  W.  L. 
Van  Camp,  W.  S. ;  Frank  Sargent,  W.  T. ;  George  Dolan,  W. 
Cond. ;  Max  Erdman,  I.  G. ;  C.  A.  Gibson,  0.  G. ;  trustees,  Charles 
Kaufman,  H.  J.  Zender,  J.  E.  Pitzen ;  aerie  physician,  C.  J.  Lewis. 
The  present  officers  are:  P.  W.  P.,  C.  F.  Lewis;  W.  P.,  George 
Robertson ;  W.  V.  P.,  H.  W.  Boody ;  W.  C,  J.  C.  Taney ;  W.  Cond., 
L.  G.  Kappauf ;  secretary,  F.  M.  Zebder;  treasurer,  F.  C.  Wilbour; 
trustees,  W.  R.  Terry,  M.  A.  Morgan,  L.  H.  Grau ;  physician, 
H.  F.  Pierson.  The  present  membership  is  360.  Since  the  organi- 
zation i|^6,200  has  been  paid  in  sick  benefits.  Funeral  benefits 
liave  amounted  to  .$350.     The  society  pays  a  seven-dollar-a-week 


sick  benefit  and  a  $50  funeral  benefit.  The  aerie  has  at  present 
$2,000  at  interest  and  $600  in  the  treasury  as  a  working  balance, 
with  an  income  of  about  $270  a  month. 

The  Order  of  Owls  is  one  of  the  youngest  of  the  local  fra- 
ternities. The  charter  officers  were:  President,  II.  J.  Zender: 
past  president,  Thomas  Rochford;  vice  president,  T.  Lembrick; 
invocator,  AY.  J.  Rice ;  treasurer,  Ben  Hart ;  secretary,  Peter  Ca- 
pretz;  warden,  Lester  Woodward;  sentinel,  Tracey  Smith; 
picket,  Thomas  Tracy;  trustees,  M.  J.  Mayer,  Joseph  Wolf  and 
Otto  H.  Jensen.  The  present  officers  are:  President,  H.  J.  Zen- 
der ;  past  president,  Thomas  Rochford ;  vice  president,  A.  Speck ; 
invocator,  B.  Speck ;  treasurer,  Ben  Hart ;  secretary,  Peter  Ca- 
pretz;  warden,  C.  Ward;  sentinel,  Eldred  Ondrick;  picket,  J.  C. 
Harris;  director,  C.  H.  Johnson;  trustees,  M.  J.  Mayer,  Joseph 
Wolf  and  Otto  H.  Jensen. 


There  are  four  patriotic  orders  in  Austin,  the  Mclntyre  Post, 
No.  66,  G.  A.  R. :  Mclntyre  Corps,  No.  27,  W.  R.  C. ;  the  Ladies  of 
tlie  G.  A.  R.,  and  tlie  Spanish-American  War  Veterans. 

Mclntyre  Post,  No.  66,  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic.  About 
1872,  a  Post  was  organized  at  Austin  and  conducted  for  a  time, 
but  like  many  of  the  original  G.  A.  R.  posts,  it  soon  disbanded. 
jNIcIntj^re  Post,  No.  66,  Avas  organized  March  7,  1884,  by  A. 
Swift,  assisted  by  Comrades  C.  A.  Warren,  M.  B.  Johnson,  B. 
iNlaxwell,  N.  N.  Parmenter,  B.  E.  Stimson  and  others,  of  the 
Henry  Rogers  Post  No.  11,  G.  A.  R.,  at  Brownsdale.  The  fol- 
lowing were  the  first  officers:  Capt.  W.  H.  Sutton,  post  com- 
mander: A.  E.  Christie,  sen.  vice  commander;  G.  L.  Case,  jun. 
vice  commander ;  Rev.  W.  E.  Stanley,  chaplain ;  H.  W.  Lightly, 
officer  of  the  day ;  John  V.  OAvens,  quartermaster ;  C.  N.  Beiseker, 
officer  of  the  guard;  Seymour  Johnson,  adjutant;  M.  M.  Trow- 
bridge, sergeant  major;  H.  B.  Corey,  Q.  M.  sergeant.  It  was 
voted  to  call  the  Post  Mclntyre,  after  Capt.  P.  T.  Mclntyre,  of 
the  18th  Wisconsin,  and  formerly  county  auditor  and  treasurer, 
wlio  died  in  Austin  about  1881.  The  vote  stood  twenty-six  for 
"]McIntyre,"  and  twenty-five  for  "INlcPhorson, ''  in  honor  of 
General  ^NlcPherson. 

Below  is  appended  a  list  of  tlu^  members  who  joined  Alarch 
1  and  lo,  1884,  with  the  regimental  connection  of  each:  P.  J. 
Cratzer,  Co.  F,  lolst  Ind. ;  Seymour  Johnson,  Co.  A,  32d  Wis.; 
W.  H.  AYhitham,  Co.  B,  106th  N.  Y. ;  W.  E.  Stanley,  29th  Co., 
Mass.  II.  A.  Vol. :  J.  A.  Pierce,  Co.  A,  3d  Wis.;  George  Fiehn,  Co. 
A,  13th  Wis.:  J.  R.  Evans,  Co.  H.  Batal.  V.  S.  I.  16th  Reg. ;  J.  IT. 
^VLansfield.  Col.  Keng's  Staff:  D.  E.  Bero,  Co.  C,  9th  Minn.;  Sam. 


H.  Judd,  Capt.  Co.  H,  153d  Til. ;  H.  W.  Lightly,  Co.  H,  29th  Wis. ; 
Francis  Neller,  Co.  H,  2d  Minn. ;  Jerry  Ingalls,  Co.  I,  26th  N.  Y. ; 
R.  M.  Boyd,  Co.  B,  37th  AVis. ;  Chas.  J.  Miller,  Sergt.  Co.  A,  1st 
Wis.;  Wilson  Beach,  Corp.  Co.  H,  1st  Minn.  M.  R. ;  Geo.  W. 
Varco,  Co.  B,  2d  Minn.  Cav. :  J.  H.  DeRemer,  Co.  F,  3d  Minn. ; 
J.  C.  Hawkins,  Corp.  2d  Ohio  H.  Art. ;  William  Bracken,  Co.  C, 
9th  Minn. ;  John  Connor,  Co.  G,  6th  Wis. ;  Abram  Newell,  Co.  I, 
17th  111.  Cav. ;  M.  M.  Trowbridge,  Sergt.  Co.  C,  1st  Wis. ;  A.  E. 
Christie,  Sergt.  Co.  D,  19th  Wis. ;  Henry  B.  Corey,  Corp.  Co.  A, 
2d  ]\Iinn.  Cav.  Reg. ;  John  V.  Owens,  Co.  K,  5th  N.  Y.  H.  A. ;  W. 
H.  Sutton,  Capt.  Co.  I,  31st  Ohio. ;  G.  L.  Case,  Capt.  Co.  H,  122d 
IT.  S.  C.  T. ;  Samuel  Pinkham.  Co.  C,  3d  Wis.  Cav. ;  H.  H.  Kent, 
Landsman  U.  S.  Navy ;  J.  D.  Woodward,  Co.  I,  1st  N.  Y.  L.  Art. ; 
Orrin  H.  Brown,  Sergt.  Co.  B,  115th  N.  Y. ;  W.  D.  Hogan,  Corp. 
Co.  K,  1st  Conn.  H.  Art.;  James  Donaldson,  Sergt.  Co.  E,  28th 
Wis. ;  S.  AA".  Rice.  Co.  C,  9th  Minn. ;  M.  Becker,  Co.  D,  22d  Wis. 
Inft.;  G.  S.  Cooper,  Co.  G,  12th  AVis.;  Simeon  Chapman,  Co.  I, 
105th  Pa.;  H.  G.  Case,  Sergt.  Co.  A,  2d  Minn.;  John  E.  Robin- 
son, Corp.  Co.  B,  2d  Minn.  Cav. ;  E.  P.  Spooner,  Sergt.  Co.  C,  9th 
Minn. ;  R.  Brooks,  Co.  C,  17th  Ind. ;  C.  N.  Beiseker,  Co.  F,  67th 
N.  Y. ;  Jos.  Stephenson,  Co.  C,  117th  N.  Y. ;  Isaac  N.  Howe,  Co. 
M,  12th  111.  Cav.;  Jehial  AVoodward,  Co.  B,  116t.h  N.  Y. ;  A.  J. 
Sharpstine,  Co.  K,  142d  N.  Y.  ■  Henry  Peck,  Co.  B,  2d  Minn. ;  D. 

B.  Johnson,  Jr.,  1st  Lieut.  1st  Reg.  INIinn.  M.  R. ;  AValter  F. 
Sutherland,  Sergt.  Co.  B,  U.  S.  Eng.  Bat. ;  E.  L.  Merry,  Co.  F, 
5th  Minn.;  John  Robertson,  Sergt.  Co.  F,  42d  AVis.;  Robert 
O'Brien,  Co.  H,  44th  AA^is. ;  William  H.  AA^aye,  Co.  I,  38th  AVis.; 

C.  P.  Bell,  Co.  B,  2nd  Minn.  Cav. ;  M.  C.  Little,  Co.  K,  32d  AVis. ; 
E.  R.  Lathrop,  chaplain,  10th  Minn.;  L.  B.  Fairbanks,  Co.  I,  3d 
A^t.  •.  Henry  A.  Chapin,  Co.  I,  1st  Minn. ;  A.  H.  Chapin,  Co.  C,  9th 
Ivlinn. ;  L.  Griffin,  Co.  H,  1st  Minn.  Rangers ;  I.  J.  Densmore, 
Sergt.  nth  AVis.;  J.  S.  Anderson,  Co.  I,  24th  AVis.;  A.  D.  Fair- 
banks, Co.  E,  2d  United  States  sharpshooters;  P.  Bump,  1st  Lieut. 
Co.  E,  22d  Wis.;  C.  R.  Paddock,  Co.  C,  115th  N.  Y. 

In  all  220  veterans  have  joined  Melntyre  Post.  Of  these 
sixty-six  are  still  members  and  eighty-seven  are  dead.  Sixty- 
seven  have  moved  away  or  been  suspended.  The  Post  has  a 
meeting  hall  of  its  own,  having  purchased  a  lot  and  building 
December  15,  1890.  The  present  officers  are:  Commander,  John 
Fairbanks ;  senior  vice  commander,  Peter  Cratzer ;  junior  vice 
commander,  R.  N.  Boyd ;  quartermaster  serge.ant,  P.  Bump  ;  officer 
of  the  day,  J.  C.  HaAvkins:  officer  of  the  guard,  E.  AVatkins; 
chaplain,  J.  D.  Smith ;  siu'geon,  John  Harpraan ;  adjutant,  J.  H. 
DeRemer.  The  Post  is  one  of  the  most  flourishing  in  the  state. 
In  June,  1889.  it  had  the  pleasure  of  entertaining  the  Southern 
^Minnesota  G.  A.  R.  Association. 


Mclntyre  Corps,  No.  27,  W.  R.  C,  was  organized  April  5, 
1887,  with  twenty-two  charter  members.  The  first  officers  were 
as  follows :  President,  Elizabeth  Mclntyre ;  senior  vice  presi- 
dent, Lottie  Baird;  junior  vice  president,  Louisa  Engle;  secre- 
tary. Lizzie  Sutton:  treasurer,  Mary  Lovell;  conductor,  Lida 
Sutherland ;  assistant  conductor,  Emma  Dorr ;  guard,  Katie 
Jolmson :  assistant  guard,  Maggie  Ingalls ;  chaplain,  Mary  Beach. 
The  corps  is  now  in  a  flourishing  condition,  with  102  members. 
The  present  officers  are:  President,  Madge  Smith;  senior  vice 
president,  Mary  Horrobin;  junior  vice  president,  Anna  Gregg; 
secretary.  Marietta  Bump;  treasurer,  Clara  Urbatch ;  chaplain, 
Emma  Neller ;  conductor,  Mattie  Fairbanks ;  guard,  Abbie  Hilker ; 
patriotic  instructor,  Elizabeth  Mattice ;  press  correspondent,  Eva 
Davison ;  assistant  conductor,  Anna  Seares ;  assistant  guard, 
flattie  AVilliams;  musician,  Lulu  Pitcher;  color  bearers,  Nellie 
Hartley,  Lou  Hendricks,  Laura  Eddlebeck  and  Libby  Roebuck. 
The  corps  is  working  in  harmony  with  IMcTntyre  Post,  and  in 
1906  erected  a  •i<l,200  monument  on  the  soldiers'  lot  in  Oakwood 

The  I.  K.  Mertz  Circle,  No.  44,  Ladies  of  the  G.  A.  E.,  was  or- 
ganized in  Austin.  November  3,  1898,  by  Julia  E.  Lobdell.  This 
organization  is  a  patriotic  one,  similar  in  many  respects  to  the 
Daughters  of  the  American  Revolution,  and  its  membership  is 
restricted  to  the  wives,  sisters,  blood  nieces,  and  direct  female 
descendants  of  veterans  of  the  Civil  war ;  war  nurses.  Civil  war 
veterans,  and  male  deseendents  of  Civil  Avar  veterans  being  ad- 
mitted to  honorary  membership.  The  organization  will  be  per- 
petuated by  lineal  deseendents.  The  first  officers  of  the  local 
circle  were :  President,  Maggie  Goodwin ;  senior  vice  president, 
Hannah  Bazter;  secretary,  Eva  Webster;  treasurer,  Anna  Fo- 
garty;  chaplain.  Frances  Rice;  conductress,  Ella  jNIady;  assistant 
conductress,  INFay  Carter;  guard,  INIaria  Hall:  assistant  guard. 
]\Iary  E.  Bero.  The  present  officers  are :  President,  Eva  Web- 
ster ;  senior  vice  president,  Florence  Chapin ;  junior  vice  presi- 
dent. Frances  Watkins;  chaplain,  Eva  Carter;  treasurer,  Eunice 
Floyd :  conductress,  Florence  Wait ;  assistant  conductress,  Sarah 
Ondrick ;  guard,  ]\Iary  Boyd ;  assistant  guard,  Isabelle  Watkins. 


Four  organizations  in  Austin  recruit  their  members  from  tlie 
Catliolic  chuj'ch.  They  are:  St.  Augustine  Court.  No.  of)?,  Cath- 
olic Order  of  Foresters;  St.  ^Monica  Court,  No.  374,  Women's 
Catholic  Order  of  Foresters;  Austin  Council,  No.  1201,  Kniglits 
of  Columbus  and  the  Catholic  Total  Abstinence  Society. 



The  importance  of  the  raih-oad  industry  in  Austin  naturally 
brings  hundreds  of  railroad  employes  to  make  their  home  here, 
and  as  a  consequence  all  the  great  railroad  orders  haA^e  Austin 
divisions.  Cedar  River  Division,  No.  283,  Brotherhood  of  Rail- 
road Trainmen ;  Austin  Division,  No.  215,  Order  of  Railroad  Con- 
ductors: Austin  Division,  No.  102,  Brotherhood  of  Locomotive 
Engineers,  and  Comet  Lodge,  No.  126,  Brotherhood  of  Locomotive 
Firemen  and  Engineers,  each  have  a  goodly  membership,  and 
the  ladies'  auxiliary  to  each  of  these  organizations  are  also  im- 
portant features  in  the  life  of  the  railroad  people  of  the  city. 

Austin  Division,  No.  215,  Order  of  Railroad  Conductors  Avas 
organized  August  30,  1 906,  with  the  following  charter  members : 
E.  E.  Brooks,  W.  F.  Clay,  E.  T.  Dexter,  A.  J.  Fox,  W.  B.  Harter, 
Harry  Hill,  "William  James,  Martin  Keavy,  Thomas  Keating,  C. 
T.  Paine,  "W.  R.  Terry,  AVilliam  Plummer,  Peter  Gallagher,  George 
Franklin,  F.  C.  Tipp,  Jacob  Oleson,  H.  M.  AVarfield,  A.  F.  Mc- 
Lean, Frank  McAdams,  John  Richard.  The  first  officers  were: 
Chief  conductor,  Thomas  Keating;  assistant  chief  conductor,  H. 
M'.  Warfield;  secretary  and  treasurer,  W.  R.  Terry;  senior  conduc- 
tor, W.  F.  Claj' ;  junior  conductor,  William  Plummer ;  inside  sen- 
tinel, George  Franklin;  outside  sentinel,  Jacob  Oleson.  The 
present  officers  are:  Chief  conductor,  J.  D.  McCormiek;  assist- 
ant chief  conductor,  Joseph  Tucker ;  secretary  and  treasurer,  W. 
B.  Harter;  senior  conductor,  W.  F.  Clay;  junior  conductor,  W. 
K.  Terry ;  inside  sentinel,  Joseph  Kane ;  outside  sentinel,  Ole  Tol- 
bertson.  From  a  membership  of  twenty,  Austin  Division  has 
grown  to  a  membership  of  fifty-three.  This  division  is  one  of 
tlie  best  in  its  class  -and  nearly  every  conductor  running  out  of 
Austin  on  the  five  divisions  of  railroad  is  a  member  of  Division 
215.  Each  member  is  a  good  citizen  and  all  are  ready  at  all 
times  to  boost  for  Austin.  The  growth  of  the  division  has  kept 
pace  with  the  progress  of  the  city  and  every  member  is  true  to 
the  motto,  Fidelity,  Justice  and  Charity. 

Volunteer  Division,  No.  123,  Ladies  Auxiliary  to  the  Order 
of  Railroad  Conductors,  Avas  instituted  May  19,  1898,  with  the 
folloAving  officers:  President,  Mrs.  W.  B.  Terry;  vice  president. 
Mrs.  Ida  Clay:  secretary  and  treasurer,  Mrs.  W.  D.  Plummer. 
The  present  officers  are :  President,  Mrs.  J.  D.  McCormiek ;  vice 
president.  Mrs.  George  Taylor;  secretary  and  treasurer,  Mrs.  H. 
:\I.  Warfi(>ld. 

Austin  Division,  No.  102,  Brotherhood  of  Locomotive  En- 
gineers, is  one  of  the  oldest  fraternal  societies  in  Austin.  It  Avas 
organized  Fe])ruary  19,  1870,  by  Simon  R.  Clark,  assisted  by 
T.  "NV.  TIazelton.     R.  R.  dark  Avas  elected  chief  engineer  and  ^l. 


E.  Telfair  first  assistant  engineer.  William  Anderson  is  the 
present  chief  engineer  and  Harry  Matthews  is  the  secretary  and 
treasurer.  The  Austin  division  has  a  membership  of  ninety,  witli 
$130,000  life  and  accident  insurance  in  force. 

The  J.  D.  Beeoher  Division,  No.  187,  Ladies  Auxiliary  to  the 
Brotherhood  of  Locomotive  Engineers,  was  organized  January 
25,  1894,  by  Mrs.  C.  J.  Clark,  grand  organizer,  of  Winona,  with 
the  following  chapter  members:  Mrs.  Wm.  Anderson,  Mrs.  J.  D. 
Beecher,  Mrs.  C.  Campbell,  Mrs.  A.  F.  Mattice,  Mrs.  P.  Cham- 
bers, Mrs.  G.  Smith,  Mrs.  M.  Davey,  Mrs.  D.  Sharrah,  Mrs.  H. 
Furtney,  Mrs.  J.  Shook,  Mrs.  Thos.  Flannigan,  ]\Irs.  J.  Taylor, 
Mrs.  C.  Gilleece,  Mrs.  C.  F.  West,  Mrs.  J.  Harriman,  Mrs.  E.  G. 
Goth,  Mrs.  D.  Hunt,  Mrs.  J.  E.  Ober,  Mrs.  R.  Haseltine,  Mrs.  T. 
Claneey,  Mrs  J.  McDonald,  Mrs.  J.  Murphy.  Of  these  there  are 
twelve  who  are  still  members  of  the  order.  The  first  officers 
were :  President,  Mrs.  AVm.  Anderson ;  vice  president,  Mrs.  E. 
Goth ;  secretary,  Mrs.  H.  Furtney ;  treasurer,  Mrs.  G.  Smith ;  in- 
surance secretary,  Mrs.  Harriman;  chaplain,  Mrs.  A.  F.  Mattice; 
guide,  Mrs.  C.  Campbell:  sentinel,  Mrs.  T.  Claneey;  pillars,  Mrs. 
C.  Gilleece,  Mrs.  J.  McDonald,  Mrs.  J.  Harriman,  Mrs.  R.  Hasel- 
tine. At  present  this  order  consists  of  thirty-seven  members. 
The  present  officers  are :  Past  president,  Mrs.  D.  S.  Barr ;  presi- 
dent, Mrs.  M.  Mclnerny;  vice  president,  Mrs.  C.  Gilleece;  insur- 
ance secretary,  Mrs.  S.  E.  Pettengill;  secretary,  Mrs.  E.  H. 
Kough  ;  chaplain,  Mrs.  D.  Hunt ;  treasurer,  Mrs.  L.  Nelson ;  guide, 
Mrs.  C.  Erickson ;  sentinel,  Mrs.  M.  Lang ;  marshals,  Mrs.  A. 
Damm,  Mrs.  R.  Haseltine;  musician,  Mrs.  Wm.  Cook;  pillars, 
Mrs.  J.  Lorenz,  Mrs.  T.  Damn,  Mrs.  A.  F.  Mattice,  Mrs.  H.  J. 

Pearl  of  Cedar  Lodge,  No.  223,  Ladies  Auxiliary  to  the 
Brotherhood  of  Railroad  Trainmen,  was  organized  July  29,  1901, 
with  fifteen  charter  members  and  with  the  first  vice  grand  mis- 
tress, Jeanette  Turner  in  the  chair.  The  meeting  was  held  in 
the  Engineers  Hall,  on  East  Water  street,  and  the  following  of- 
ficers were  elected:  Councilman,  George  C.  Taylor;  past  mis- 
press, Lizzie  Brohm ;  mistress,  Mary  Nockels;  vice  mistress,  Julia 
Dineen;  treasurer,  Mary  Taylor;  chaplain,  Luej'-  Ellingson;  sec- 
retary, Mayme  Bi;shman :  conductress,  Ada  Plum ;  warden.  Olga 
Gordon;  inner  guard,  Mai-y  Bushman;  outer  guard,  Emma 
Franklin.  The  charter  Avas  a  gift  to  the  ladies  from  the  Cedar 
River  lodge,  No.  283,  Brotherhood  of  Railroad  Trainmen.  The 
present  officers  are:  President,  Mayme  Bushman;  vice  presi- 
dent, Nellie  Smith ;  chaplain,  Anna  Jeffries ;  treasurer,  Mattie 
Fairbanks;  secretary.  Hazel  Harmaney;  conductress,  Viuuie 
Montey;  warden,  Ijouisa  Darr:  inner  guard.  Blanch  Larson; 
outer  guard,  Elizabeth  Bloomfield;  delegate,  Nellie  Smith;  alter- 


iiate,  Kate  Weise.     There  are  at  present  thirty  members,   and 
meetings  are  held  in  the  Order  of  Railroad  Conductors  Hall. 


The  oldest  fraternal  insurance  order  in  Austin,  antedates  in 
its  date  of  organization,  all  the  present  orders  in  Austin  except 
the  Masons,  the  Odd  Fellows  and  tlie  Brotherhopd  of  Locomotive 
Engineers.  The  fraternal  insurance  orders  now  in  existence  in 
Austin  are:  Austin  Homestead,  No.  443,  Brotherhood  of  Amer- 
ican Yeomen;  Austin  Tent,  No.  16,  Knights  of  the  Maccabees; 
Queen  Hive,  No.  20,  Ladies  of  the  Maccabees ;  Austin  Council,  No. 
53,  jModern  Samaritans ;  Van  Dusko  Camp,  No.  243,  Modern 
Woodmen  of  America;  Austin  Council,  No.  1654,  Royal  Ar- 
canum ;  Cedar  Camp,  No.  205,  Royal  Neighbors ;  Austin  As- 
sembly, No.  204,  Equitable  Fraternal  Union;  Austin  Lodge,  No. 
31,  Degree  of  Honor;  Austin  Lodge,  No.  840,  Mystic  AYorkers  ot! 
the  World. 

Austin  Lodge,  No.  32,  Ancient  Order  of  United  Workmen  was 
organized  in  Austin,  October  24,  1877,  with  charter  members  to 
the  number  of  thirty.  The  first  officers  of  the  lodge  Avere :  Past 
master  workman,  D.  B.  Smith;  master  workman,  L.  6.  Wheeler; 
foreman,  A.  W.  Kimball ;  overseer,  F.  A.  Richardson ;  recorder, 
C.  H.  AVilbour;  financier,  E.  P.  Van  Valkenburgh;  receiver,  Ed- 
win French ;  guide,  W.  K.  Hunkins ;  inside  watchman,  F.  H. 
Sterling;  outside  watchman,  John  Chandler.  The  ma,jority  of 
the  first  officers  and  members  are  still  living.  Some  have  dropped 
from  the  order,  l)ut  a  large  number  are  still  faithful  members  ■ 
after  nearly  thirty-four  years  of  continued  membership.  The 
A.  0.  U.  AV.  was  the  pioneer  fraternal  insurance  order  and  the 
first  to  establish  lodges  in  Minnesota  and  also  the  first  in 
Austin.  Austin  Lodge,  No.  32,  has  grown  from  a  few  members 
to  an  enrollment  of  over  600,  and  a  present  membership  of 
225,  and  has  paid  to  the  widows  and  orphans  of  its  de- 
ceased members  jfi85,000.  A  record  of  which  it  may  well  be 
proud.  The  records  of  the  lodge  show  that  the  men  who 
have  governed  the  lodge  and  helped  to  build  it  up  are  scat- 
tered from  the  Atlantic  to  the  Pacific,  as  the  following  list 
of  the  past  master  workmen  will  show :  D.  B.  Smith,  L.  E.  Day, 
Jas.  Cronan,  P.  PL  Zender,  0.  H.  Harris,  C.  J.  Hull,  S.  A.  Smith, 
Geo.  Robertson,  E.  C.  Dorr,  E.  J.  Phillips,  Thos.  F.  Leonard,  I.  R. 
Wagner,  John  Rustad,  E.  W.  Brennan,  Peter  Hanson,  H.  A. 
Gosler,  W.  K.  Hawkins,  L.  Dettlebach,  K.  0.  AVold,  N.  J. 
Strever,  A.  E.  Hall,  S.  H.  Harrson,  L.  C.  Fairbanks. 

The  officers  for  the  year  1911  are:  Past  master  workman,  H. 
A.  C.nsler:  mnstcr  workman,  AI.  P.  Underberger :  foreman,  Lafay- 


ette  Crandall ;  overseer,  John  Evenson ;  i-ecorder,  L.  C.  Fair- 
banks; financier,  P.  H.  Zender;  receiver,  J.  L.  Mitchell;  guide, 
E.  J.  Blomily;  inside  watchman,  Jos.  Leohmen;  out'side  watch- 
man, Frank  i^dams;  grand  representatives,  P.  H.  Zender  and 
H.  A.  Gosler;  trustees,  E.  A.  Dalager,  Gorm  Hanson,  Peter  Han- 
son. The  A.  O.  U.  W.  order  rates  of  assessments  were  changed 
two  years  ago  to  an  absolutely  adequate  basis  of  rates  and  a 
large  surplus  has  been  accumulated.  This  year  the  Minnesota 
jurisdiction  seceded  from  the  national  organization  and  Minne- 
sota is  now  an  independent  organization  with  over  21,000  mem- 
bers. Aiistiu  lodge  is  adding  new  members  and  is  in  a  very 
prosperous  condition,  with  prospects  of  paying  many  more 
thousands  to  more  firmly  establish  the  home  for  those  who  are 
left  to  mourn. 

Van  Dusko  Camp,  No.  243,  Modern  Woodmen  of  America,  was 
organized  September  18,  1886,  with  thirty-seven  charter  members. 
The  charter  was  granted  October  20,  1886.  Among  the  first 
officers  were  G.  T.  ]Mills,  C.  A.  Pooler  and  L.  F.  Clausen.  The 
cainp  now  has  a  membership  of  467.  There  have  been  forty-three 
deaths  in  the  camp  and  over  $80,000  has  been  paid  in  benefit 
certificates.  The  present  officers  are:  Consul,  R.  L.  Furtuey; 
advisor,  R.  J.  Thomson;  banker,  H.  A.  Goslee;  clerk,  E.  H. 
Sterling;  managers,  William  Cutter,  J.  E.  Detwiler  and  H.  C. 

Austin  Council,  No.  1654,  Royal  Arcanum,  was  organized 
and  chartered  October  7,  1895,  with  thirty-six  members.  The 
first  officers  were :  Regent,  N.  S.  Gordon ;  vice  regent,  G.  F. 
Baird ;  orator,  A.  M.  Lewis ;  past  regent,  A.  C.  Page ;  secretary, 

E.  "W.  Davis;  collector,  J.  A.  Sands;  treasurer,  H.  M.  McGill- 
vary;  guide,  H.  F.  George;  chaplain,  H.  D.  Fairbanks;  warden, 
A.  E.  Dearborn ;  sentry,  F.  A.  Brietlow ;  trustees,  G.  Schleuder, 
T.  J.  Abrahams,  C.  F.  Cook.  The  officers  for  the  year  1911  are 
as  follows:  Regent,  R.  L.  DeGroot;  vice  regent,  F.  W.  Green- 
man;  orator,  A.  C.  Page;  past  regent,  F.  E.  Daigneau;  secre- 
tary, J.  M.  Beck;  treasurer,  G.  F.  Baird;  collector,  J.  E.  Crip- 
pen;  chaplain,  H.  D.  Fairbanks;  guide,  Charles  Mady;  warder, 

F.  G.  Page;  sentry,  F.  B.  Davison.  Since  the  organization  of 
Austin  Council  there  has  been  but  one  death  claim  paid,  on  the 
death  of  a  local  member.  Mayor  George  F.  Sutton,  at  the  time 
of  his  death,  was  a  member  of  the  Royal  Arcanum,  and  his  widow 
was  paid  the  death  benefit.  The  Royal  Arcanum  is  a  fraternal 
insurance  order,  organized  in  Boston,  ^lass.,  June  23,  1S77, 
and  has  been  successful  and  economical  in  its  inanagcineiit  dur- 
ing the  thirty-four  years  of  its  existence 

Cedar  Camp,  No.  205,  Royal  Neighbors  of  America,  Avas  or- 
oanized  October  2.').  189.').  witli  a   good  iiienibcrsliip.     :\rrs.  Alma 


Kessler  Avas  the  first  oracle  and  Mrs.  Flora  E.  Cota  the'  first  re- 
corder. They  were  assisted  by  a  band  of  loyal  workers.  The 
lodge  membership  has  grown  to  nearly  200,  and  the  present 
officers  are:  Oracle,  Mrs.  Mattie  Fairbanks;  vice  oracle,  Mrs. 
Libbie  Aultfather;  past  oracle,  Mrs.  Lania  Dawes;  chancellor, 
Mrs.  Carrie  "Wright;  recorder,  Mrs.  Tracy  Young;  receiver,  Mrs. 
Ida  Wyatt;  marshal,  Mrs.  Mabel  Boyd;  assistant  marshal,  Mrs. 
Lillian  Peterson ;  inner  sentinel,  Mrs.  Mary  Horrobin ;  outer  sen- 
tinel, Mrs.  Ella  Mayland;  managers,  Mrs.  Jessie  Ward,  Mrs. 
Ellen  Brown  and  Mrs.  Maud  Cutter. 

Austin  Tent,  No.  16,  Knights  of  the  Maccabees,  received  its 
charter  May  23,  1893.  The  fi.rst  oflfieers  were:  Commander,  E. 
C.  Kinney;  record  keeper,  G.  M.  Merriman;  finance  keeper,  P. 
Goodwin.  The  present  officers  are:  Commander,  A.  E.  Hilker; 
record  and  finance  keeper,  J.  "W.  Gebhart. 

Austin  Council  53,  Modern  Samaritans,  was  organized  several 
years  ago  and  the  present  officers  are:  Good  Samaritan,  F.  H. 
Mayer ;  past,  ~W.  J.  Bell ;  vice,  Sallie  E.  Hill ;  high  priestess,  Mrs. 
R.  Peterson ;  financial  scribe,  Peter  Capretz ;  treasurer,  John  Ur- 
batch ;  C.  M.,  Carl  Johnson ;  J.  M.,  Roy  Pace ;  centurian,  Mrs. 
Carl  Johnson;  Avatchraan,  John  Jensen;  medical  examiner,  Dr. 
C.  P.  Lewis. 

Austin  Homestead,  No.  443,  Brotherhood  of  American  Yeo- 
n*en,  has  some  260  members.  The  officers  are:  Honorable  fore- 
man, L.  H.  Gran ;  master  of  ceremonies,  Carrie  Wright ;  cori'e- 
spondent,  A.  L.  Lickteig ;  master  of  accounts,  Mattie  Fairbanks ; 
chaplain,  Mary  NeAvcomb. 


The  Scandinavian  and  Teutonic  element  in  Austin  is  repre- 
sented by  three  societies:  Als  Lodge,  No.  Ill,  Danish  Brother- 
hood; Hamar  Lodge,  No.  84,  Sons  of  NorAvay,  and  the  Harmonia 
Germania  Society. 


The  Carpenters'  Union  in  Austin  has  been  in  existence  for 
some  time,  and  is  of  much  mutual  benefit  to  its  members. 


The  Austin  Driving  Association  was  organized  February  26, 
1909.  The  first  officers  were:  Geo.  Sutton,  president;  H.  W. 
Hurlbut,  treasurer,  and  A.  C.  Page,  secretary.  Shortly  after  its 
organization,  tlie  president,  Mr.  Sutton,  was  taken  sick  and  went 
to  a  sanitarium  for  treatment.  E.  D.  Feeny  Avas  elected  vice 
president  and  acted  as  executive  officer  during  that  year's  race 
meet.     The  association  has   given  tAvo   very  successful   summer 


race  meetings  during  the  month  of  June,  1909  and  1910.  They 
are  planning  their  race  meet  for  the  current  season  for  July  3, 
4  and  5.  The  present  officers  are  as  follows:  0.  J.  Simmons, 
president;  M.  F.  Leffingwell,  vice  president;  H.  W.  Hurlbut, 
treasurer;  A.  C.  Page,  secretary. 


Advantages  of  the  City  Written  by  Rev.  CD.  Belden — Religious 
Activities  by  Robert  L.  Moore — Austin  Clubs  by  Miss  Jennie 
G.  Keith — St.  Olav  Hospital  and  Training  School — Austin 
Schools  by  Prof.  George  A.  Franklin — Austin  Hotels. 

Austin,  the  Pearl  City  of  southern  Minnesota  and  the  county 
seat  of  Mower  county,  is  located  in  one  of  the  most  attractive 
and  fertile  portions  of  the  great  Northwest.  It  has  a  population 
of  6,960,  according  to  the  United  States  1910  census,  and  it  is 
large  enough  to  enjoy  all  the  advantages  and  improvements 
found  in  much  larger  centers.  Mower  county  has  steadily  in- 
creased in  population  during  all  the  migrations  and  changes  of 
the  past  decades,  as  each  succeeding  census  has  shown.  Today 
we  have  22,640  within  our  county  borders.  From  the  early  pio- 
neer days  this  city  has  been  on  the  great  highway  of  travel  and 
has  attracted  the  best  class  of  residents  by  her  pre-eminent 

Sixty  years  ago  there  were  two  streams  of  travel  coming  into 
this  section.  One  was  from  the  east  by  way  of  Chatfield,  where 
a  land  office  had  been  established,  and  the  other  came  in  from 
the  southeast  following  up  the  banks  of  the  Cedar  river  and  con- 
tinuing on  in  the  old  territorial  road  to  St.  Paul.  Austin  was 
on  this  latter  route.  In  the  early  settlement  of  Mower  county 
the  county  seat  was  established  on  the  east  end  at  Frankford, 
but  the  Cedar  valley  soon  gathered  a  larger  immigration  and 
the  county  seat  was  changed  to  Austin.  The  old  stage  route 
from  Dubuque  to  St.  Paul  passed  through  Austin  and  the  outer 
world  soon  discovered  that  this  was  a  vcrital)le  garden  spot. 
Here  were  timber,  the  purest  of  water,  the  Ijrightcst  of  sunshine, 
the  healthiest  of  climate,  the  most  fertile  of  soil.  Tln'  Cedar 
river  flowing  thrcmgh  the  city  furnished  abundant  water  i)Ower 
for  saw  mill  and  grist  mill  .md  .\nstin  soon  came  into  its  deserved 


The  pioneer  problems  of  1854  were  very  different  from  what 
are  known  today.  Then  the  railroads  were  slow  in  extending 
west  and  they  waited  until  the  settlers  had  pushed  ahead  and 
had  made  improvements  and  established  centers.  Today  the 
railroads  reach  out  hundreds  of  miles  into  uninhabited  regions 
and  carry  the  first  settlers  to  their  locations  and  furnish  them 
with  transportation  and  abundant  communication  with  the  out- 
side world.  It  was  not  so  with  the  pioneers  of  this  locality  who 
waited  for  years  for  the  railroad  while  they  hauled  their  grain 
a  hundred  miles  to  the  Father  of  Waters.  In  1859  there  was  not 
a  mile  of  railroad  in  Minnesota  and  the  nearest  railroad  point 
was  Dubuque.  But  shut  in  as  were  the  pioneers  so  largely,  they 
were  thrown  together  in  an  intimacy  and  equality  which  the  so- 
cial sets  of  the  later  years  never  know  of.  Thrown  upon  their 
own  resources  and  with  everything  new  and  unplanned,  they  were 
really  the  foundation  builders  and  we  today  enjoy  a  substantial 
superstructure.  The  first  settlers  in  this  locality  were  largely  of 
sturdy  native  American  stock  with  a  valuable  addition  of  thrifty 
emigrants  from  northern  Ei;rope.  They  brought  high  ideals  in 
education,  morals  and  home  life  and  their  influence  is  a  posi- 
tive factor  for  good  today. 

The  city  of  Austin  is  located  on  both  sides  of  the  Cedar  river. 
It  is  surrounded  by  a  finely  improved  and  productive  prairie- 
country  in  all  directions.  From  the  days  of  Austin  Nichols,  who 
came  here  in  1853  and  from  whom  the  city  was  named,  and  of 
Chaimeey  Leverich,  who  bought  out  his  claim  in  1854.  there 
has  been  a  healthy,  persistent  growth.  Its  location,  about  a  hun- 
dred miles  from  Minneapolis,  La  Crosse  and  other  large  shipping 
points,  gives  it  a  territory  largely  its  own.  It  is  an  industrial 
and  railroad  center  of  prominence.  The  first  railroad  to  enter 
here  was  in  1867  and  today  we  have  five  lines  of  the  Chicago, 
Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  road  coming  here,  and  we  are  on  the 
direct  line  of  the  Great  Western  between  Minneapolis  and  Omaha. 
Our  shipping  facilities  are  superior.  The  division  point  of  the 
Milwaukee  road  and  one  of  its  car  shops  are  here  and  they  have 
an  Austin  payroll  at  present  of  $55,000  each  month. 

Austin  is  pre-eminently  a  city  of  homes.  A  larger  propor- 
tion of  the  residents  own  their  own  in  most  cases.  The  resi- 
dences are  the  pride  and  joy  of  the  city,  many  of  them  built  with 
the  latest  improvements  and  with  attractive  architectural  ideas. 
The  Austin  Civic  Improvement  League  is  helpful  in  keeping  the 
general  appearance  of  the  city  neat  and  attractive.  Two  very 
pretty  parks  give  the  people  ample  chance  for  convenient  outing. 
Lafayette  i)ark  lies  at  the  foot  of  Main  street  where  the  Cedar 
is  bridged.  Central  park  is  adjacent  to  the  city  water  plant  on 
Water    strei't. 


The  schools  of  Austin  are  of  the  highest  efficiency.  The  pub- 
lic schools  are  provided  with  the  large  central  high  school  build- 
ing and  also  five  up-to-date  grade  ward  schoolhouses.  The  year 
of  1910-1911  required  a  total  force  of  thirty-eight  teachers,  with 
special  work,  domestic  science,  manual  training,  music,  normal 
department,  drawing  and  gymnastics.  The  graduating  class  of 
1911  consists  of  thirty-one  members.  In  addition  the  St.  Augus- 
tine's parish  has  established  the  Columbus  parochial  school  with 
eight  departments,  all  of  them  in  grade  work.  The  Southern 
Minnesota  Normal  College,  founded  in  1897,  is  located  here  and 
has  a  yearly  enrollment  of  over  1,000  pupils  from  all  the  north- 
western states.  In  this  connection  we  mention  the  splendid  li- 
brary facilities  of  the  city.  In  addition  to  the  fine  school  and 
private  libraries  we  have  a  public  library,  the  building  for  which 
was  provided  by  Andrew  Carnegie.  This  building  was  completed 
in  April,  1904.  There  are  about  7,000  volumes  at  present.  The 
nucleus  of  this  library  was  a  gift  of  3,500  volumes  from  the 
Austin  Floral  Club,  which  was  organized  in  March,  1869,  to 
promote  taste  and  skill  in  horticulture  and  to  establish  a  circu- 
lating library.  Austin  is  a  city  of  churches.  There  are  eleven 
fine  church  buildings  and  the  clergymen  rank  high  in  preaching 
ability  and  in  personal  worth  and  influence.  Fifteen  of  the  prin- 
cipal denominations  are  well  represented  in  the  city. 

Austin  is  a  prominent  business  city  and  commercial  center. 
Its  wholesale  and  retail  trade  covers  twenty-two  blocks  of  our 
streets.  Every  line  of  commercial  trade  is  represented.  Its  hand- 
some business  blocks  fronting  upon  its  brick  paved  streets  and 
its  enduring  cement  sidewalks  are  a  mark  of  enterprise  and 
thrift  that  attract  all  visitors.  In  the  way  of  manufactures  we 
excel.  Roller  mills,  tow  mills,  plow  and  harrow  works,  cement 
tile  factories,  immense  Farmers'  Brick  and  Tile  plant,  weed  ex- 
terminator plant,  the  second  packing  house  in  size  in  Minnesota, 
Austin  greenhouses,  marble  and  granite  works,  steel  culvert  fac- 
tory, machine  shops,  foundries,  carriage  building  are  among  our 
prominent  industries.  "We  have  two  telephone  systems  connect- 
ing with  all  the  surrounding  country  and  bringing  us  in  touch 
also  with  the  large  centers.  A  city  hospital  shows  advanced  serv- 
ice for  the   afflicted. 

Although  Austin  is  essentially  a  liomo  town,  tliere  is  fine  hotel 
service  here  for  the  traveling  public  and  the  four  loading  hotels, 
the  Fox.  the  Grand,  the  Elk  and  tlie  Railway,  make  this  city  an 
attractive  stopping  place  sought  by  all  who  can  make  it  con- 
venient. In  connection  with  the  business  interests  we  mention 
the  three  national  l)anks.  whose  total  deposits  in  March.  1911, 
were  $3,072,120.81.  and  a  total  capital  and  surplus  of  $625,729.71. 
The   Austin   Commercial    Club,   the   successor   of   the   Board   of 


Trade,  organized  in  1874  and  reorganized  in  December,  1903,  is 
an  active  body  looking  after  the  development  and  growth  of  the 

One  of  the  commanding  buildings  of  the  city  is  the  fine  county 
courthouse,  occupying  a  w^hole  square  on  Main  street.  It  Avas 
occupied  in  March,  1884,  and  is  the  just  pride  of  the  county.  A 
new  federal  building  for  the  postoffice  and  other  government 
officials  was  commenced  in  the  fall  of  1910  and  will  be  completed 
at  the  close  of  1911.  It  is  50x65  feet  and  will  cost  $50,000.  Plans 
are  also  accepted  for  a  new  city  hall  to  cost  $40,000. 

Austin  feels  proud  of  its  military  company.  Back  in  the  war 
of  '61- '65  this  community  sent  its  full  quota  to  the  front  and 
the  soldierly  spirit  has  never  Avaned.  Company  G,  Second  Minne- 
sota National  Guard,  was  organized  by  Capt.  James  S.  Ander- 
son in  September,  1882.  An  appropriation  from  the  state  legis- 
lature in  April,  1911,  gives  the  company  $10,000  for  an  armory 
here  and  the  city  will  add  to  this  to  make  a  suitable  permanent 
drill  hall  for  them. 

Austin  has  one  of  the  most  successful  municipal  water,  elec- 
tric light  and  power  plants  in  the  United  States.  Its  low  rate 
for  electric  power  has  made  it  famous.  The  city  owns  and  con- 
trols its  own  plant.  Previous  to  about  1885,  Austin's  water 
supply  Avas  AvhoUy  from  pri\^ate  wells  and  its  fire  protection  was 
from  cisterns.  With  the  growth  of  population  the  demand  was 
for  modern  Avater  supply.  A  132-foot  Avell  Avas  put  doAvn  and 
Smedley  &  Co.,  of  Dubuque,  put  in  the  first  pumps,  tAvo  of  them, 
each  with  a  million-gallon  daily  capacity.  John  M.  Greenman 
Avas  the  first  superintendent.  From  this  beginning  other  and 
deeper  wells  were  sunk  later  as  the  demand  increased  and  in 
1910  a  more  ample  supply  of  water  Avas  obtained  by  the  pur- 
chase of  the  famous  Sargent's  springs  east  of  the  city  with  a 
flowage  of  1,300,000  gallons  of  purest  water  daily.  This  water 
Avas  piped  into  the  city  in  the  summer  of  1911.  It  comes  wholly 
by  gravity  to  the  reservoir  at  the  power  plant.  The  Avater  mains 
Avhich  at  first  covered  only  our  principal  business  section  noAV 
run  to  all  parts  of  the  residence  portion. 

The  city  municipal  electric  and  poAver  plant  Avas  established 
in  1900,  when  the  city  bought  out  a  private  concern  for  the  sum 
of  $16,000.  The  Pierce  Brothers  put  in  the  original  plant  in 
April,  1889.  This  furnished  only  the  stores  at  first  AA^th  light, 
but  later  the  city  made  contracts  for  street  lighting  and  the  use 
of  electric  lighting  was  extended  to  residences.  The  city  rebuilt 
the  plant  when  it  bought  it  in  1900  and  in  1903  the  entire  man- 
agement was  placed  in  the  hands  of  a  board  of  water,  electric, 
gas  and  poAvor  commission.  The  plant  has  been  steadily  devel- 
oped until  it  had  iu  May,  1911,  a  750-horsepoAver  dynamo  sys- 


tern,  supplying  lights  to  940  different  consumers,  power  to  fifty 
users  and  light  for  121  arc  street  lights,  besides  seventy-five 
smaller  street  lamps.  It  is  a  fact  that  the  Austin  municipal  plant 
furnishes  cheaper  power  and  light  to  consumers  than  any  other 
successful  electric  plant  in  this  country.  The  present  members 
of  the  water  and  electric  board  are :  John  L.  Gulden,  president ; 
Mayor  A.  S.  Campbell,  J.  D.  Sheedy,  Al.  M.  Smith  and  C.  A. 
Pooler;  superintendent,  "William  Todd.  Austin  lias  an  efficient 
fire  department  and  excellent  fire  protection. 

The  streets  of  Austin  are  Avorthy  of  mention.  There  are  many 
miles  of  cement  sidewalks  wnth  many  bovilevards,  which  give  a 
substantial  appearance.  In  the  summer  of  1906  the  main  business 
portion  of  the  city  along  Main  street  and  adjacent  blocks  was 
paved  with  vitreous  brick  and  in  the  following  summer  ten  blocks 
were  paved  from  Main  street  to  the  Milwaukee  station,  making 
it  possible  to  reach  all  the  business  poi-tions  by  it.  This  makes 
Austin  one  of  the  best  paved  cities  of  its  size  in  the  Northwest. 

The  city  has  kept  pace  with  its  growing  population  and  the 
improvements  of  the  day,  and  the  resident  here  finds  every  con- 
venience afforded  much  larger  cities.  The  Austin  Gas  Company 
is  a  private  corporation,  whose  service  adds  to  the  comforts  of 
the  home,  and  with  annual  Chautauqua  in  summer  and  lecture 
and  concert  courses  in  the  winter,  with  churches  and  schools  and 
library  of  the  highest  merit,  with  ample  water  supply  and  ex- 
tensive sewerage,  with  the  best  of  electric  light  and  power  and 
in  the  midst  of  a  prosperous  farming  commimity,  located 
near  the  height  of  land  in  southern  ]Minnesota  and  with  a  cli- 
mate unexcelled  for  its  many  healthful  conditions,  Austin  knows 
the  reason  why  during  business  depression  and  prosperity  she 
has  maintained  a  steady  and  permanent  growth. 


A^^stin  has  excellent  fire  protection  and  a  well-equipped  fire 
department.  Hose  Company  No.  1  has  its  house  at  the  corner  of 
Chatham  and  Maple  street  and  Hose  Company  No.  2  has  its  house 
at  the  foot  of  Bridge  street.  There  are  also  companies  at  the 
Plormel  plant  and  at  the  ]Milwaukee  yards.  Plans  are  under  way 
for  the  building  of  a  combination  city  hall  fire  house  and  armory 
at  the  corner  of  Chatham  and  Maple  streets.  The  state  has  ap- 
propriated $10,000  for  the  building  of  an  armory,  and  plans  have 
been  drawn  for  a  combination  l)uilding.  to  be  erected  at  a  cost 
of  some  .$42,000. 

The  fire  department,  whidi  is  a  volunteer  one.  is  organized  as 
follows:  Fire  warden.  Xcls  1'.  .Iciis.'ii ;  liosc  cart  No.  1.  fore- 
man, Frank  E.  J.   Christie;   jissistaiit.  .1.   .1.   Kugg:   liydrantmen, 


Leonard  Hall  and  Archie  Moreland;  pipemen,  George  Fitzthuvn 
and  James  Anker;  steward  and  treasiirer,  Edward  H.  Elward; 
secretary,  Louis  Duclos.  Hose  Comany  No.  2:  Foreman,  M.  J. 
.Mayer;  assistant  foreman,  George  Umhoefer;  hydrantmen,  C.  W. 
MeNally  and  J.  Mayer,  Jr. ;  nozzlemen,  Frank  Hummel,  Alvin 
Setterloff,  D.  J.  Sheehan ;  secretary,  J.  H.  Mayer;  treasurer,  Frank 
jMayer;  steward.  J.  Mayer,  Jr. 

The  Austin  Volunteer  Hook,  Ladder  and  Bucket  Company  was 
organized  March  11,  1870.  The  first  officers  elected  were:  Presi- 
dent, W.  I.  Brown ;  foreman,  Capt.  H.  J.  Gilham ;  first  assistant, 
J.  D.  Jennings;  second  assistant,  H.  L.  Burgess;  secretary,  A.  M. 
Hutchinson;  treasurer,  George  H.  Litchfield.  On  April  27  No. 
2  of  the  east  side  was  organized.  In  Septemher,  1895,  the  city 
hired  its  first  team  and  driver,  Oscar  Hill  securing  the  position. 
Among  those  who  in  the  past  have  assisted  in  fire  department  af- 
fairs in  some  official  capacity  may  be  mentioned :  A.  J.  Phelps, 
H.  B.  Hall,  D.  B.  Smith,  Tom  Eiley,  John  Walsh,  C.  A.  Pooler. 
C.  Bieseker,  Tom  Dugan,  Jesse  Makepiece  (the  first  chief  of  the 
Austin  fire  department),  E.  J.  Ames,  Henry  Trenary,  John  Gul- 
den, Edward  Elwood,  Tom  Mann,  Mile  Mhyre,  Nels  Jensen,  Frank 
Eeynolds  and  many  others. 


Austin  -was  a  village  of  400  people  before  a  move  was  made  t.p 
have  a  place  to  lay  its  departed.  The  dead  were  laid  away  in  the 
vacant  lots  of  the  platted  city.  The  body  of  Chauncey  Leverieh, 
who  was  murdered,  was  buried  near  where  the  Swen  Anderson 
building  stands  on  Chatham  street.  On  the  banks  of  the  Cedar 
near  the  South  Bridge  the  bones  of  Don  and  Jack  Fleming  molded. 
They  came  here  from  New  England  for  their  health,  as  they  were 
both  suffering  with  consumption.  It  was  not  until  1862  that  a 
move  was  made  to  secure  a  cemetery.  A  few  of  the  ladies  of  the 
city  got  talking  about  the  needs  of  the  city  and  a  meeting  was 
called  February  ],  1862,  at  the  home  of  J.  L.  Davidson  for  the  pur- 
pose of  organizing  a  society  for  the  purchase  of  suitable  lauds 
for  a  burial  ground.  At  that  first  meeting  Mi's.  J.  L.  Davidson 
was  elected  president  and  Mrs.  Ormanzo  Allen  secretary. 

The  name  adopted  for  the  society  was  "The  Mite  Society  and 
Cemetery  Association"  and  the  meetings  were  to  be  held  every 
tv.'o  weeks  at  the  homes  of  the  members  in  alphabetical  order. 
Each  member  was  to  pay  ten  cents  at  each  meeting.  The  at- 
tendance at  these  meetings  was  between  eighty  and  100,  for  there 
was  little  doing  in  the  pioneer  village  in  those  days. 

Th*^  first  regular  meeting  was  held  at  the  home  of  ]\lrs.  J.  L. 
Clnrlc.     Here  it  was  voted  to  have  the  men  buv  the  land  and  the 


Mitt;  society  promised  to  build  the  feuee.  A  subscription  paper 
was  passed  among  the  business  men  and  twenty  agreed  to  take 
lots  at  $5  each.  On  March  15,  1862,  the  men  met  and  organized 
the  cemetery  association.  Solomon  Snow  was  chairman  of  the 
meeting  and  Ormanzo  Allen  secretary.  The  following  trustees 
were  elected:  For  one  year,  L.  N.  Griffith  and  Ormanzo  Allen; 
for  two  years,  John  S.  Lacy  and  Oliver  Somcrs;  for  three  years, 
Solomon  Snow.  A  committee  had  been  sent  out  to  secure  land 
and  on  the  suggestion  of  the  Mite  society  looked  over  the  Baudler 
farm.  The  committee  found  the  land  suitable  evidently,  for  it 
purchased  five  acres  at  a  cost  of  $100.  D.  B.  Johnson  surveyed 
the  laud,  laying  it  off  in  lots  twenty  feet  square,  and  Squire 
Giifnth  made  a  map.  The  $100  was  raised  by  twenty  men,  each 
of  wiiom  bought  a  lot  at  the  cost  of  $5. 

The  story  of  the  cleaning  up  of  the  grounds  l)y  the  ladies,  as- 
sisted by  the  men,  is  told  elsewhere  by  Mrs.  L.  A.  Sherwood.  ]\Irs. 
Sherwood  says  that  the  first  body  buried  in  the  cemetery  was 
that  of  Katie,  the  eight-year-old  daughter  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.  J.  L. 
Clark.  The  little  girl  died  of  diphtheria  and  Mrs.  Sherwood  as- 
sisted in  the  care  of  the  little  girl.  That  was  the  first  case  of  diph- 
theria that  had  appeared  in  the  little  village  of  Austin.  Having 
bought  the  land  and  laid  it  out  as  a  place  to  bury  the  dead,  the 
cemetery  seems  to  have  received  but  little  attention,  each  lot 
owner  being  supposed  to  care  for  his  own  lot.  In  1895  the  Oak- 
wood  Cemetery  Association  bought  160  acres  of  land  of  the  Adler 
farm  adjoining  the  cemetery.  They  sold  about  thirty  acres  lying 
east  of  the  river  to  D.  B.  Smith.  D.  H.  Stimson  was  one  of  the 
prime  movers  in  this  purchase.  Anton  Friedrich  was  elected  svi- 
perintendent  of  the  cemetery  and  has  been  in  charge  from  that 
day  to  this.  The  cemetery  was  graded,  the  imsightly  grave 
mounds  all  being  leveled,  flower  gardens  were  laid  out  and  each 
year  saw  the  place  still  further  beautified.  Now  it  is  one  of  the 
most  beautiful  resting  places  for  the  dead  in  the  state.  On  March 
7,  1904,  the  trustees  were  authorized  to  erect  a  chapel  and  vault, 
not  to  exceed  the  sum  of  .$5,000,  and  this  beautiful  Imilding  was 
dedicated  in  the  fall  of  the  same  year.  William  Baudler  had 
opened  up  a  private  cemetery  on  the  northern  line  of  his  farm 
adjacent  to  the  Oakwood  cemetery  and  the  lot  owners  of  this 
cemetery  wanted  those  lots  taken  in  as  a  part  of  beautiful  Oak- 
wood.  This  petition  Avas  presented  by  Mrs.  Hiram  Smith  at  a 
meeting  held  November  12,  1904.  She  stated  that  $430  had  been 
subscribed  and  guaranteed  that  $70  moi'e  would  be  raised,  mak- 
ing the  amount  $500  for  the  purchase  of  the  unsold  lots  in  the 
Baudler  cemetery.  On  December  3,  1904,  a  meeting  of  the  ceme- 
tery a.ssociation  was  licld  to  consider  the  proposition.  At  that 
meeting  the  Baudlci-  cciiKtcry  lot  owners  were  ready  to  pay  $500 


to  the  Oakwood  cemetery  to  secure  possession  of  the  Baudler  lots 
so  that  the  two  cemeteries  might  be  united.  The  board  of  trus- 
tees offered  to  take  over  the  Baudler  cemetery,  lots,  alleys,  streets, 
etc.,  on  the  payment  of  $2,000.  N.  F.  Banfield  said  he  would  be 
responsible  for  the  amount  and  the  proposition  was  accepted. 
Soon  after  the  old  fence  was  torn  down,  both  cemeteries  were 
made  one,  the  Baudler  cemetery  being  graded  and  beautified  to 
conform  with  Oakwood.  On  August  23,  1905,  the  cemetery  asso- 
ciation purchased  four  rods  of  land  adjoining  the  old  Baudler 
cemetery  on  the  east,  paying  for  it  $75.  On  March  2,  1906,  Mc- 
Intyre  Post  G.  A.  R.  exchanged  their  old  lot  for  a  lot  in  the  cen- 
ter of  Section  3  of  the  new  cemetery  and  the  bodies  of  the  dead 
heroes  were  removed  to  their  new  sleeping  place.  On  this  lot  a 
beautiful  soldiers'  monument  was  erected  and  dedicated  in  1907. 


(By  Robert  L.  ^Nloore.) 

AVhile  Austin  is  on  seven  railroad  divisions,  it  is  also  on  fif- 
teen divisions  of  the  King's  highway,  all  having  one  grand  termi- 
nal point.  These  are  the  divisions :  Roman  Catholic,  Episcopal, 
Lutheran,  Methodist,  Congregational,  Presbyterian,  Baptist,  Chris- 
tian, Jewish,  Christian  Scientist,  Seventh  Day  Adventist,  German 
Evangelical,  Universalist,  Children  of  the  Dawn  and  Christadel- 
phian.  Eleven  of  these  denominations  have  church  buildings,  all 
practically  free  from  debt. 

The  many  church  spires  like  indices  pointing  heavenward  sug- 
gest to  the  stranger  that  Austin  is  a  city  of  churches.  Approach- 
ing the  city  from  any  direction  the  first  object  to  greet  the  eye 
is  the  cross  of  Christ  in  the  skyline.  The  rays  of  the  rising  sun 
first  rest  upon  it  and  the  last  dying  rays  of  day  are  reflected  by 
it.  Austin  is  a  religious  city,  but  it  is  not  a  bigoted  one.  Sec- 
tarianism that  has  rent  other  communities  has  never  been  known 
here.  No  man  disputes  with  another  which  is  the  direct  route 
to  heaven.  Religious  4iberty  is  here  enjoyed  to  the  fullest.  Aside 
from  the  distinctly  church  organizations,  the  club  and  social  or- 
ganizations never  consider  church  affiliation  as  a  qualification  for 

All  the  churches  are  liberally  supported  and  well  attended. 
The  buildings  are  as  a  rule  superior  to  church  buildings  in  cities 
of  the  size  of  Austin. 

First  Congregational  Church. — Members  of  this  denomination 
had  their  fii'st  incotings  in  Austin  in  what  was  known  as  the 
"Headquarters,"  which  stood  on  the  corner  where  the  Austin 
National  Bank  now  stands,  gathered  there  together  by  their  first 
pastor.  Rev.  Stephen  Cook,  on  July  fi,  1857.     There  were  fifteen 


cliarter  members,  as  follows:  J.  L.  Davidson,  Mrs.  II.  A.  David- 
son, Rev.  Stephen  Cook,  Mrs.  Jeunett  Cook,  J.  N.  Cook,  Mrs. 
L.  A.  Cook,  J.  N.  AVheat,  J.  S.  Decker,  Mrs.  M.  A.  Decker,  Oba- 
diah  Smith,  Mrs.  M.  A.  Smith,  Mrs.  Amanda  Adams,  J.  Baker, 
Miss  E.  Bennett.  Rev.  Cook  served  as  pastor  of  the  church  for 
three  years,  resigning  in  May,  1860.  His  successor  was  Rev.  Nel- 
son Cook,  who  held  the  pastorate  from  May  ],  1860,  to  October, 
1860.  He  was,  in  turn,  followed  by  Rev.  Stephen  Cook,  who  held 
services  from  October,  1860,  until  May,  1861.  Next  was  Rev. 
C.  C.  Humphrey,  May,  1861,  until  May,  1863.  Following  the  last 
named  Rev.  W.  S.  Clark  preached  from  May,  1863,  to  November, 

In  March,  1864,  Rev.  W.  J.  Smith  was  called  to  Austin,  dur- 
ing which  year  the  Baptist  church  was  completed,  and  an  invita- 
tion was  extended  to  the  Congregationalists  to  worship  there. 
The  invitation  was  accepted  and  for  two  years  both  sects  wor- 
shiped there.  In  November,  1864,  Rev.  Smith  resigned  the  pas- 
torate and  was  succeeded  in  December  by  Rev.  Alfred  Morse, 
who  continued  until  December,  1868.  During  his  stay  here  or 
in  the  year  1866  the  next  place  of  worship  was  the  "Brick  School 
House"  on  the  site  where  the  Carnegie  Library  now  stands.  In 
October,  1868,  the  first  building  of  this  denomination  was  dedi- 
cated, it  being  built  on  the  same  site  as  the  present  building,  the 
lot  having  been  donated  by  J.  L.  Davidson  some  years  before. 
Soon  after  its  dedication  Rev.  Morse  tendered  his  resignation  and 
he  and  his  beloved  wife  left  for  other  fields  of  duty.  His  suc- 
cessor was  Rev.  E.  M.  Williams,  December,  1868,  until  December, 
1870.  Other  ministers  in  close  proximity  were :  Rev.  J.  T. 
Graves,  from  January,  1871,  to  January  1873,  and  Rev.  Henry 
Ketcham,  from  June,  1873,  to  September,  1874.  Rev.  C.  E.  Wright 
eonmienced  his  labors  Avith  the  church  in  December,  1874.  He 
was  a  man  of  great  personality  and  influence  and  his  long  stay 
of  twenty-four  years  were  fruitful  ones  to  the  church.  Not  only 
by  the  spiritual  help  were  the  people  of  this  church  benefited, 
but  also  by  a  new  building,  which  was  erected  in  1892  and  dedi- 
cated February  26,  1893.  While  the  new  edifice  was  being  erected 
Sunday  school  services  were  held  in  the  coui'troom  of  the  Court- 
iiouse  and  devotional  meetings  in  the  Grand  Army  hall.  The 
dedicatory  hymn  sung  on  the  occasion  was  one  of  rare  merit, 
being  the  same  as  was  sung  at  the  dedication  of  the  old  build- 
ing twenty-seven  years  l)efore  and  composed  by  ^Irs.  Samuel 
;\[orris,  wife  of  the  former  pastor.  When  the  resignation  of  Mr. 
Wright  was  tendered,  November,  1898,  it  was  met  with  a  feel- 
ing of  deep  regret,  for  those  who  had  known  him  so  long  and 
to  whom  he  had  administered  in  their  sorrow  and  cares  were  wont 
to  say  that  in  the  loss  of  him  the  church  had  lost  one  of  its  most 


valuable  assets.  The  other  ministers  after  him  were  Rev.  E.  T. 
AYheeler,  1898  to  1902,  and  Eev.  Arthur  Dascumb,  1902  to  1904. 
The  present  pastor,  Rev.  F.  E.  Knopf,  came  to  the  church  in 
September,  1905.  He  was  born  of  German  parents  at  Columbus, 
Ohio,  1858.  But  upon  the  death  of  his  parents  while  he  was  yet 
seven  years  of  age,  he  was  brought  up  on  a  farm  twenty-eight 
miles  from  Columbus,  where  in  the  district  school  he  received  his 
common  school  education.  His  desire  to  rise  in  the  world,  how- 
ever, did  not  keep  him  on  a  farm,  for  later  he  entered  the  Univer- 
sity of  Wooster,  Presbyterian  College,  where  after  a  few  years 
he  completed  the  prescribed  courses.  After  leaving  the  univer- 
sity he  was  elected  superintendent  of  schools  at  Columbus  Grove. 
Later  he  held  the  position  of  professor  of  Latin  and  Greek  at  the 
Tri-State  Normal  college,  remaining  with  that  institution  for  four 
years.  In  1889  he  was  ordained  minister  and  labored  with  the 
Congregational  church  at  Elkhart,  Ind.  Since  then  he  has  held 
pulpits  at  Michigan  City,  Ind.,  Sabetha,  Kans.,  and  Cheyenne, 
Wyo.,  from  which  last  named  place  he  came  to  Austin.  During 
his  pastorate  up  to  date  one  hundred  members  have  been  added 
to  the  church.  In  1907  occurred  the  fiftieth  anniversary  of  the 
church  and  many  of  the  former  pastors  were  present.  The  church 
has  two  of  its  members  in  missionary  work,  Arthur  McBride, 
missionary  teacher,  stationed  at  Bombay,  India,  and  Olive 
Vaughan  at  Hadfin,  Turkey.  The  societies  are  few  in  number, 
being  the  Ladies'  Aid,  president,  Mrs.  E.  H.  Smith;  vice-presi- 
dent, Mrs.  Dr.  M.  J.  Hardy ;  secretary,  Mrs.  F.  I.  Crane ;  treas- 
urer, j\Irs.  Eunice  Rice.  The  Sunday  school  is  a  very  large  one 
and  is  lead  by  Eansome  Thompson  as  superintendent.  The  Y.  P. 
S.  C.  E.  was  organized  during  Rev.  Wright's  pastorate  and  since 
then  has  grown  to  a  very  prominent  organization.  It  first  met 
at  the  home  of  Harlan  Page,  with  Fanny  Eastman  as  presi- 
dent. The  present  officers  are :  President,  Helen  Banfield ;  vice- 
president,  Leonard  Decker;  secretary,  Josephine  Catherwood; 
corresponding  secretary,  Alice  Hayse;  treasurer,  Neil  Cooke; 
pianist,  Thekla  Knopf.  The  Woman's  Missionary  Society  was 
organized  by  ]\Irs.  E.  M.  Morse,  wife  of  the  former  pastor,  who 
was  president  of  the  state  missionary  board,  first  president  of  the 
society  here  and  also  founder  of  the  Floral  Club  of  Austin.  The 
present  officers  include  Mrs.  C.  H.  Decker  as  president;  Mrs. 
IT.  A.  Avery,  vice-president ;  Mrs.  John  Rutherford,  secretary,  and 
Mrs.  Arthur  Cole,  treasurer.  The  Boys'  Junior  Endeavor  has  at 
the  head  Harry  Emery  as  superintendent.  The  church  officers 
are:  Deacons,  O.  W.  Shaw,  F.  P.  McBride.  H.  A.  Avery,  C.  L. 
West,  W.  0.  Page,  Jacob  S.  Decker.  The  latter  and  Mrs.  J.  S. 
Decker  and  llrs.  Obadiah  Smith  were  original  charter  members 
of  tlic  cliurcli  and  arc  vet  active  mcnil)ers.     The  trustees  of  the 


C'luu-L'li  include  Mr.  C.  F.  Cook,  Dr.  A.  M.  Lewis,  Mr.  A.  L.  Eber- 
hart,  A.  C.  Page,  J.  E.  Crippen,  L.  A.  Sherman  and  II.  L.  Ban- 
field.    The  two  latter  are  elerk  and  treasurei',  respectively. 

St.  Olaf  Lutheran  Church.  The  Lutheran  church  of  Austin 
was  organized  by  Kev.  C.  L.  Clausen,  October  28,  1867.  The 
same  pastor  had  preached  the  first  sermon  of  this  denomination 
at  Austin  about  two  years  previous  to  that  time.  The  first  serv- 
ices were  held  at  the  home  of  Nels  Johnson,  with  the  following 
persons  as  charter  members :  Syver  Olson  and  family,  Peter  Knud- 
son  and  family,  Iver  Nelson  and  family,  Carl  M.  Bolnner,  Nels 
Johnson  and  family,  John  Halverson,  Jacob  Johnson,  Ole  Jacob? 
son,  Ole  Mickleson  and  family,  F.  B.  Frost  and  family,  Nels  Olson 
and  family.  On  November  14,  1867,  the  second  meeting  was  held 
at  the  home  of  Seymore  Johnson,  at  which  time  by-laws  were 
adopted  and  Carl  M.  Bolnner  was  elected  secretary  of  the  church. 
During  the  illness  of  Eev.  Clausen  in  1869  the  devotional  meet- 
ings were  held  in  the  courtroom  of  the  Courthouse.  On  October 
5,  1870.  a  meeting  was  called  together  at  the  office  of  John  Ir- 
gens.  This  was  for  the  purpose  of  deciding  on  the  name  and  the 
incorporation  of  the  church  and  upon  the  advisability  of  pur- 
chasing the  old  Methodist  Episcopal  church.  The  name  selected 
was  the  St.  Olaf  Evangelical  Lutheran  church  of  Austin.  The 
old  ]\Iethodist  church  was  purchased  and  trustees  chosen :  J.  S. 
Irgens,  Carl  M.  Bolnner,  O.  J.  Johnson,  0.  H.  Johnson,  the  two 
former  being  treasurer  and  secretary,  respectively.  On  May  25, 
1870,  Rev.  Ostby  commenced  his  labors  with  the  church  and  all 
continued  well  during  his  pastorate.  Resigning  in  November, 
]878.  he  was  succeeded  bj'  Rev.  Clausen,  who  continued  serving 
with  Svend  Strand  as  assistant  (appointed  1879)  until  January, 
1885,  at  which  time  he  tendered  his  resignation.  Rev.  Ostby  was 
recalled  in  May.  1885,  owing  to  the  severe  illness  of  Rev.  Clausen, 
and  remained  with  the  church  until  the  arrival  of  Rev.  0.  Glasoe, 
December,  1889.  who  held  the  pastorate  until  September,  1891. 
Next  to  succeed  him  was  the  Rev.  E.  T.  Rogne,  who  came  in 
]March,  1892.  During  his  labors  with  the  church  the  congrega- 
tion increased  so  that  it  was  deemed  necessary  to  erect  a  new 
building.  Subscriptions  being  secured  the  new  (present)  build- 
ing, costing  $16,000,  was  commenced  in  the  early  part  of  1895 
and  dedicated  in  1896  by  Rt.  Rev.  G.  Iloyme.  On  the  occasion 
all  the  former  pastors  were  present,  excepting  Rev.  Clausen,  who 
had  previousl.v  passed  to  his  eternal  reward.  Rev.  Rogne  resigned 
in  the  fall  of  1898  and  was  succeeded  by  Rev.  J.  C.  Roseland. 
who  entered  upon  his  duties  in  February,  1899,  and  served  eight 
years  until  the  fall  of  1907.  During  Rev.  Roseland 's  work  with 
the  church  the  Hayfield  church  services,  which  liad  been  in  charge 
of  the  former  pastors,  was  discontinued.    He  introduced  the  F]ng- 


lisli  language  into  the  services  of  this  church,  which  resvilted  in 
holding  six  English  conducted  services  and  tvi'o  of  Scandinavian 
for  the  month.  Kev.  Koseland  went  from  Austin  to  Chicago  and 
a  call  having  been  issued  to  Kev.  J.  A.  E.  Naess,  the  present  pas- 
tor, he  came  in  December,  1907.  Mr.  Naess  is  a  young  man  of 
about  thirty-nine  years  of  age,  alert  and  ready  to  fulfill  the  needs 
of  his  parish.  Born  on  a  farm  in  Iowa  county,  Wisconsin,  he 
learned  early  the  labors  of  life.  He  received  his  grammar  school 
education  in  the  town  of  Boscobel,  Wis.,  from  Avhich  place  he 
graduated  and  entered  the  St.  Olaf  college  at  Northfield,  Minn. 
Upon  the  completion  of  prescribed  courses  at  that  institution  in 
1895,  he  affiliated  himself  Avith  the  United  Church  seminary  of 
Minneapolis.  On  June  12,  1898,  he  was  ordained  a  minister  and 
shortly  afterward  went  back  to  Boscobel  and  served  the  parish 
there  for  four  years.  Resigning  that  position,  he  next  went  to 
Albert  Lea,  Minn.,  from  whence  he  removed  to  Austin.  In  the 
course  of  construction  now  is  an  addition  to  the  church  Avhich 
Avhen  completed  will  nearly  double  the  seating  capacity  of  the 
church,  and  aside  from  that  is  to  be  the  installation  of  a  pipe 
organ  which  will  cost  $2,000.  Throughout  the  history  of  thjs 
denomination  the  growth  has  been  of  a  steady  nature  and  prog- 
ress marks  the  path  of  years  gone  by.  At  this  time  the  member- 
ship shows  the  enrollment  of  750  souls.  The  church  has  no  par- 
sonage, the  present  minister  having  purchased  his  own  home.  The 
societies  of  the  church  are  as  follows:  Ladies  Aid,  president, 
Mrs.  C.  I.  Johnson ;  vice-president,  Mrs.  W.  R.  Earle ;  secretary, 
Mrs.  Carl  Johnson ;  treasurer,  Mrs.  W.  E.  Brown.  Young  People's 
League,  president,  Harry  Rassmussen ;  vice-president,  Erwin  John- 
son ;  secretary,  Allen  Peterson ;  treasurer,  Minnie  Johnson.  Men's 
Society  Social  and  Literary,  president,  George  E.  Anderson ;  vice- 
president,  Peter  Hanson;  secretary,  Carl  Johnson.  The  Sunday 
school  has  an  attendance  of  190  and  the  superintendent  is  W.  M. 

Seven  Day  Adventist.  The  organization  of  this  sect  was 
began  in  Austin,  September  22,  1889,  with  Elder  A.  Kinsman  as 
presiding  officer  and  eleven  members.  Mrs.  Hattie  E.  Varco  was 
elected  clerk  and  their  first  meetings  Avere  held  at  the  home  of 
A.  N.  Kinsman.  During  the  year  1890,  on  September  14,  a  sub- 
scription was  taken  with  which  to  erect  a  place  of  worship.  The 
church  became  an  organization  in  October  of  that  year  and  A.  N. 
Kinsman,  M.  E.  Varco  and  H.  Hanson  were  elected  trustees.  It 
then  became  a  part  of  the  Northern  Union  Conference.  During 
the  summer  of  1891  a  church  was  built  and  on  December  20  of 
that  year  it  was  dedicated  by  Elder  A.  J.  Breed,  president  of 
the  conference.  Unlike  other  churches,  this  one  instead  of  sup- 
porting a  resident  pastor  bonds  every  effort  and  contributes  to 

IIISTOIJY  OF  -M()\VK1{  CorXTV  j;n;j 

the  maintenance  of  such  in  the  foreign  fields.  Among  the  elders  pre- 
siding since  the  organization  in  Austin  are  as  follows :  A.  N.  Kins- 
man, 1889  until  1896;  Elder  H.  Hanson,  January  10,  1896,  until 
January  18,  1899;  Elder  Rien,  March.  1899,  until  March,  1900; 
Elder  A.  N.  Kinsman,  1900  until  1901;  J.  Jaeobson  was  elected 
January,  1901,  and  continued  as  leader  until  January  13,  1907. 
Succeeding  him  was  Mr.  A.  N.  Kinsman,  who  still  continues  to 
serve.  The  present  officers  are':  Mrs.  A.  Hobson,  clerk;  Charles 
Rosenthal,  deacon  and  treasurer;  Mrs.  Hattie  Vareo,  secretary 
of  mission  work.    The  church  has  fifty  souls. 

Christ  Church,  Protestant  Episcopal.  The  first  services  of  this 
church  can  be  said  to  have  had  their  beginning  in  the  year  1862, 
at  which  time  Bishop  Whipple  made  Austin  a  stopping  place  in 
which  to  hold  services.  For  three  years  or  until  1865  occasional 
services  were  held  by  this  good  bishop,  during  which  time  the 
children  of  E.  W.  Ford  and  James  L.  Clark  were  baptized  by  him. 
Other  occasional  preachers  during  that  period  were  Rev.  Messrs. 
Woodard,  Burleson  and  Johnson.  However,  in  October,  1865,  the 
Rev.  E.  Steele  Peake,  a  pioneer  missionary,  was  stationed  at  Aus- 
tin and  gathered  around  him  a  flock  of  worshippers  to  whom  he 
preached  the  gospel  in  a  portion  of  the  Baptist  church.  During 
the  year  1886  Christ's  church  parish  Avas  organized  as  a  branch 
of  the  diocese  of  Minnesota,  Rev.  Peake  as  rector  electing  the 
vestry,  J.  M.  Vandergrift  and  James  Clark  as  warders,  with  I.  M. 
Lewis,  Andrew  Grinnel,  Samuel  Dodge,  D.  L.  Merrell,  D.  P.  Bos- 
worth  and  S.  F.  Austin  as  members.  Rev.  Peake  remained  until 
June  24,  1866,  at  which  time  he  went  to  California.  Succeeding 
him,  however,  on  January  30,  1867,  was  Rev.  L.  W.  Gibson,  Avho 
was  appointed  to  the  Austin  parish  by  Bishop  "Whipple.  Some 
time  in  i\larch  of  that  same  year  land  Avas  purchased  for  church 
property  and  during  the  following  ]May  a  church  22x26  was 
erected  at  a  cost  of  $800.  In  November,  1867,  the  southern  eon- 
vocation  met  at  Austin  and  the  cornerstone  was  laid  by  Bishop 
Whipple.  The  first  services  were  held  in  the  new  church  on 
Thanksgiving  day,  1868.  In  1869  Rev.  Gibson  resigned  and  his 
successor  the  following  year  Avas  Rev.  Thomas  E.  Dickey,  who 
retained  the  position  until  February,  1872.  During  the  month  of 
April,  that  year.  Rev.  Jerome  I.  Townsend  became  the  resident 
pastor  and  during  his  rectorship  the  church  was  consecrated  by 
the  Rt.  Rev.  Henry  Ben.i'amin  Whipple,  D.  D.  Resigning  his  posi- 
tion on  November  30,  1875,  Rev.  ToAvnscnd  Avas  succeeded  by  Rob- 
ert Reed  Goudy,  Avho  continued  the  pastorate  for  one  year,  resign- 
ing June,  1877.  The  next  rector  Avas  Rev.  John  Anketell,  coming 
to  Austin  April,  1878,  and  resigning  his  post  February,  1880.  The 
church  was  then  without  a  rector,  holding  occasional  services  un- 
til the  coming  of  Rev.  C.  H.  Beaubien,  Jr..  in  February,  1882,  who 


remained  with  the  parish  until  1883.  After  that  time  and  up 
until  the  year  1886  the  church  was  again  without  a  pastor,  and 
held  occasional  services  until  the  coming  of  the  Rev.  Peabody  in 
September  of  that  year.  Other  rectors  who  followed  in  succes- 
sion were:  Rev.  Edwin  Johnson,  July,  1888,  until  October,  1889; 
Rev.  AVellington  McVetter,  January,  1890,  until  January,  1892; 
Rev.  Charles  Pullen.  June.  1892,  until  August.  3896;  Rev.  J.  S. 
AV.  Somorville.  November,  1896,  imtil  November,  1904;  Rev.  J.  S. 
Budlong.  April.  1905,  until  September,  1909.  During  the  rector- 
ship of  the  last  named  the  church  building  was  remodeled  and 
rectory  enlarged.  In  .November,  1909,  Rev.  C.  "\V.  Holmes  was 
appointed  to  the  Austin  parish.  He  was  born  at  Seneca,  Kaus., 
1867,  of  English  parentage.  Later,  at  the  age  of  twelve,  he  re- 
moved to  Racine.  Wis.,  where  ho  attended  the  College  Grammar 
school.  At  the  age  of  twenty  he  graduated  from  that  institu- 
tion and  went  out  into  commercial  work.  In  the  year  1906  he 
entered  the  Seabury  Theological  school  at  Faribault  and  was  or- 
dained deacon  in  1907  and  priest,  December,  1908.  Mr.  Holmes 
is  a  man  much  liked  by  his  congregation,  one  who  is  firm  in  his 
purpose  of  advancing  the  cause  to  which  he  is  now  engaged,  and 
a  man  greatly  interested  in  the  welfare  of  the  community.  Un- 
der his  rectorship  the  church  has  greatly  increased  in  membership, 
having  now  200  communicants.  The  present  officers  are:  Sen- 
ior warden,  C.  F.  Lewis;  .junior  warden,  F.  L.  "Williams;  E.  S. 
Selby,  secretary:  J.  W.  Hare,  treasurer.  The  societies  of  the 
church  are:  Woman's  Guild,  Mrs.  J.  W.  Hare,  president;  Mrs. 
Cassius  Terry,  vice-president;  Mrs.  T.  L.  Williams,  secretary; 
IMrs.  W.  L.  Van  Camp,  trea.surer.  Woman's  Auxiliary,  Mrs.  Ar- 
nold Johnson,  president ;  Mrs.  C.  W.  Holmes,  vice-president ;  Mrs. 
F.  L.  Williams,  secretary  and  treasurer.  St.  Agnes  Guild,  presi- 
dent. Edna  Clegget;  vice-president.  Lulu  ]\Ieyers;  secretary  and 
treasurer,  Dorijie  Abrahams.  Junior  Aiixiliary,  Mrs.  C.  W. 
Holmes,  directorist;  president,  Edna  Eastman;  secretary,  Dorris 
Gregson;  treasurer,  Dorothy  p]astman.  Rev.  Holmes  is  superin- 
tendent of  the  Sunday  school  and  has  for  officers :  Secretary, 
Inez  Eastman  :  treasurer,  Lulu  ]\leycrs. 

Evangelical  Lutheran  St.  John's  Church,  U.  A.  C.  In  Septem- 
ber, 1907.  Rev.  C.  A.  Affeldt.  after  locating  four  German  Lutheran 
families  northwest  of  Austin  and,  being  urged  to  look  after  spii-- 
itual  welfare  of  German  Lutheran  students  attending  the  South- 
ern Minnesota  Normal  college  and  such  of  his  Waltham  charge 
as  lived  in  Austin  permanently  and  temporarily,  began  to  conduct 
services  in  the  Adventist's  church  building,  corner  College  and 
Kenwood  aveinie.  Tliese  services  lieing  appreciat<'d  by  many,  new 
families  arriving  and  an  organization  being  thought  expedient, 
a  meeting  was  held  at  the  home  of  Julius  ]\Iaas,  711  Park  avenue, 


and  a  previously  drawii-up  constitution  was  adopted.  This  was 
September  18,  1908,  at  10  p.  m.  Present  were  Julius  Maas,  Jacob 
TIartje,  Adolf  Ott,  Gustav  Klingfuss,  H.  Klingfuss,  Franz  Jung- 
l)lut,  Adolf  Gruenwald,  August  Kranz,  L.  Kalinsky,  Willie  Mar- 
tin, J.  W.  Gruenwaldt.  At  present  services  are  conducted  every 
two  weeks  at  the  Adventist's  church.  The  present  membership 
is  twelve  voting  members,  fifty-one  souls  and  thirty-one  commu- 
nicants. Preliminary  measures  have  been  taken  towards  estab- 
lishing its  own  pastorate  with  the  aid  of  the  missionary  board 
of  the  Minnesota  and  Dakota  district  of  the  Missouri  Synod.  The 
officers  are:  C.  A.  Aflfeldt,  Waltham,  Minn._,  pastor;  Franz  Jung- 
lilut.  Rose  Creek.  Minn.,  and  Ide  Louden,  Austin,  Minn.,  elders. 

The  First  Baptist  Church.  The  First  Baptist  church  of  Aus- 
tin has  a  worthy  history.  It  was  organized  in  "Old  Headquar- 
ters,"' January  31,  1858.  Rev.  Edward  F.  Gurney,  a  graduate 
of  Granville  college  and  of  Rochester  Theological  seminary,  was 
the  first  pastor.  There  were  nine  constituent  members.  The  church 
was  formally  recognized  by  a  council  June  20,  1858.  He  labored 
without  fixed  salary  for  the  first  two  years  and  then  received  $400 
a  year.  He  preached  in  surrounding  centers  also.  In  the  summer 
of  1861  a  subscription  of  several  hundred  dollars  was  gathered 
for  a  meeting  house  of  their  own  and  the  present  site  of  the  church 
property  was  purchased.  Elder  Gurney  resigned  in  November, 
1861,  on  account  of  failing  health.  Rev.  Hervey  I.  Parker,  the 
second  pastor,  was  with  the  church  from  February,  1862,  until 
November,  1872,  when  he  went  to  California.  The  church  building 
project  was  revived  by  him  and  in  January,  1863,  a  building  com- 
mittee took  hold  of  the  work.  The  building,  28x40,  was  occupied 
for  the  first  time  in  January,  1874,  and  was  formally  dedicated 
June  14,  1864.  The  Congregationalists  occupied  this  house  for 
a  while  on  alternate  Sundays.  The  church  prospered  under  Elder 
Parker  and  there  were  155  additions.  Rev.  C.  T.  Emerson  was 
a  faithful  pastor  for  one  year  from  October,  1873.  Rev.  C.  D. 
Relden  commenced  an  eight  years'  pastorate  in  November,  1874. 
resigning  in  1882  to  take  charge  of  the  county  public  school  work. 
There  were  119  additions  under  him  and  the  church  was  very 
active  in  work  in  the  surrounding  country.  Rev.  "\Y.  E.  Stanley 
became  pastor  in  October,  1882,  remaining  until  January,  1891.  At 
the  twenty-fifth  anniversary  of  the  church  held  in  1883  it  was  re- 
jiorted  that  the  church  had  received  a  total  membership  of  340, 
of  whom  135  at  that  time  remained.  Rev.  C.  T.  Hallowell  became 
l)astor  in  ]\Iay,  1891,  remaining  two  years.  During  his  pastorate 
tlic  mutter  (if  a  new  church  edifice  was  agitated  and  the  work  was 
plaiuird,  Tlie  foundation  of  the  present  beautiful  of  wor- 
sliip,  (17x75  and  costing  over  .+17.000.  was  laid  in  the  fall  of  1893. 
Rev.  F.  C.  AVhitncy  comiuem-cd  his  ])astorate  September  1,  1893. 


remaining  until  October,  1900,  when  he  went  to  Eochester.  The 
new  church  was  dedicated  February  26,  1895,  and  four  months 
later  the  fine  chapel  built  by  the  Oakland  branch  of  the  church 
was  dedicated.  There  was  a  total  of  282  additions  during  Eev. 
Whitney's  pastorate.  Rev.  Frank  L.  Anderson  became  pastor  in 
December,  1900,  and  gave  the  church  four  years  of  splendid  serv- 
ice, resigning  in  February,  1905.  Rev.  R.  E.  Sayles  Avas  pastor 
from  May,  1905,  to  October,  1907.  A  large  accession  of  members 
came  under  him  from  the  "W.  A.  Sunday  tabernacle  meetings.  Rev. 
H.  B.  Ilazen  became  pastor  in  November,  1907,  resigning  March  1, 
1909.     The  semi-centennial  of  the  church  was  held  Januarj^  31, 

1908.  A  total  membership  for  the  fifty  years  was  reported  as 
1,033,  with  a  present  membership  of  420.  Average  pastorate  over 
five  and  a  half  years.    Rev.  J.  H.  Carsteus  was  pastor  from  May  1, 

1909,  until  November  15,  1910.  The  present  pastor,  Rev.  W.  L. 
Riley,  of  Detroit,  Mich.,  took  up  his  work  as  pastor  April  1,  1911. 
The  First  Baptist  Church  of  Austin  has  a  worthy  record  and  has 
been  one  of  the  strong  factors  for  righteousness  in  this  whole 

St.  Augustine's  Church.  In  the  year  1858  Rev.  Father  Pender- 
gast,  of  AYinona,  came  to  Austin  to  conduct  services  in  this  vicin- 
ity. They  were  held  at  the  residence  of  Aloysius  Brown,  in  what 
is  now  the  German  hotel.  After  two-  years  of  occasional  services 
by  Fatlier  Pendergast,  he  Avas  followed  by  Father  George  Keller, 
of  Faribault.  This  reverend  gentleman  held  services  once  every 
two  months  up  until  the  fall  of  1866.  As  a  result  of  his  laborious 
work  in  this  vicinity,  to  Father  Keller  is  due  the  honor  of  estab- 
lishing and  putting  on  a  firm  basis  the  first  congregation  of  St. 
Augustine's  parish.  Soon  after  the  leave  of  this  gentleman  he 
was  succeeded  in  1866  by  Father  McDerraot,  the  first  resident 
priest,  who  remained  and  worked  with  his  parish  until  1869.  Dur- 
ing this  time  money  for  the  erection  of  a  church  was  solicited 
and  three  gentlemen  of  Austin,  Messrs.  Lewis,  Yates  and  Fake 
(non-Catholics),  generously  donated  a  lot,  comprising  a  whole  city 
block.  Then  came  Father  C.  Geuis,  a  French  clergyman,  who  la- 
bored incessantly  and  with  profit  for  the  spiritual  necessities  of 
his  little  parish.  He  remained  until  the  year  187-4  and  was  suc- 
ceeded by  Rev.  Father  Pavlin,  who  remained  but  one  year.  Father 
Arthur  Hurley  was  next  appointed  priest  of  the  Austin  parish. 
He  carried  on  his  good  work  until  the  year  1882  and  then  Avent  to 
Rosemound,  near  St.  Paul.  Father  Genis  returned  during  that 
year  and  immediately  set  to  work  building  the  present  parsonage, 
but  was  unable  to  finish  it.  Following  closely  after  the  leave  of 
the  last  named  priest  Avas  the  late  Daniel  0 'Sullivan,  to  AA-hom  Ave 
are  indel)ted  for  the  present  structure.  He  Avas  a  much  beloved 
priest  ;uid  to  liiiii  may  be  attributed  many  of  the  good  Avorks 


accomplished  in  this  vicinity.  His  death  occurred  in  June.  1896. 
and  was  a  great  loss  to  the  parish.  In  the  year  1895,  or  the  last 
year  of  Father  0 'Sullivan's  pastorate,  Kev.  Father  E.  H.  Devlin, 
the  present  pastor,  came  as  a  resident  priest  of  Austin.  He  is  of 
Irish  descent  and  was  born  on  a  farm  in  Kenosha  county,  AViscon- 
sin.  where  he  worked  until  the  age  of  thirty  years.  He  then  went 
to  St.  Thomas  College,  where  he  completed  the  prescribed  courses 
of  that  college.  Upon  graduating  from  St.  Thomas  he  went  to 
Eome  and  remained  there  more  than  three  years.  Upon  his  re- 
turn he  held  pastorate  in  New  Richland  five  months  and  was  then 
transferred  to  Austin.  Father  Devlin  may  be  characterized  as  a 
man  of  great  executive  ability,  educated  in  many  branches,  and  a 
man  firm  in  his  purpose  of  elevating  the  cause  of  humanity.  Dur- 
ing his  pastorate  the  St.  Augustine  church,  started  by  Father 
0 'Sullivan,  was  dedicated  on  Thanksgiving  day,  November  i6, 
1896.  This  is  a  handsome  red  pressed  brick  building  with  trim- 
mings of  red  sandstone  to  match  the  substantial  looking  founda- 
tion. It  has  a  frontage  of  seventy-seven  feet  and  a  depth  of  169 
feet.  Two  towers  stand  out  slightly  from  the  main  body  of  the 
church,  the  larger  being  170  feet  in  height  and  the  smaller,  while 
not  near  as  tall,  is  of  no  less  pleasing  architecture.  Both  are  sur- 
mounted by  a  gilded  cross ;  thus  they  become  the  striking  features 
of  the  facade  of  magnificent  beauty.  The  arched  doorways  and 
the  six  granite  columns  which  support  them  give  the  approach  of 
the  church  a  somewhat  classic  finish.  On  the  cornerstone,  which 
is  a  highly  polished  block  of  granite,  is  inscribed,  "Deo  et  Sancto 
Augustino  dictum.  J.  B.  Cotter.  Antistite.  D.  0 'Sullivan,  Rec- 
tore.  A.  D.  MDCCCXCIII"  ("To  God  and  St.  Augustine.  J.  B. 
Cotter,  Bishop.  D.  O 'Sullivan,  Rector").  But  impressive  as  is 
the  outside  of  the  church,  it  is  the  interior  that  gives  the  pleasure 
to  one  who  has  any  love  for  what  is  beautiful.  The  combined 
eifects  of  statuary  and  rich  colors  to  be  found  therein  is  "as  if 
Nature  had  fashioned  this  edifice  and  placed  it  here  as  a  fitting 
place  in  which  to  worship  her  God."  From  the  250  families  of 
which  the  congregation  was  composed  upon  the  arrival  of  Father 
Devlin  this  number  has  been  increased  to  350  families,  thus  show- 
ing a  steady  growth  of  this  parish. 

Not  alone  to  the  woi'k  of  the  parish  has  this  pastor's  attention 
been  turned,  but  through  his  efforts  a  magnificent  school  has  been 
erected  at  a  cost  of  $35,000.  There  the  rich  and  poor  alike  may 
share  the  advantages  of  an  education.  This  school  is  known  as  the 
Columbus  school.  It  was  started  in  the  spring  of  1908  and  dedi- 
cated in  the  year  1909.  The  sisters,  or  teachers,  are  furnished  by 
the  Franciscan  order,  and  none  better  are  to  be  found  anywhere. 
Children  of  all  ages  may  be  found  here,  as  the  school  is  graded 
from  the  primary  to  the  second  year  high  school.     There  are  at 

258  inSTOIIY  OF  .MoWEIf  l'()r^■TY 

present  eight  teachers  and  about  275  scholars  enrolled,  the  school 
being  a  non-tuition  one  and  supported  by  the  parish.  Father 
Devlin  has  also  attained  distinction  in  his  profession,  having  been 
first  appointed  vicar  general  by  Bishop  Ileft'ron  and  later  ap^ 
pointed  bj'  the  Pope  as  Domestic  Prelate  of  the  People  of  the 

Perhaps  one  of  the  oldest  yet  still  existing  societies  of  the 
church  is  the  Catholic  Order  of  Foresters,  founded  in  the  early 
seventies,  and  ■which  still  continues  to  flourish  under  the  leader- 
ship of  J.  M.  Lindsay,  who  is  present  chief  ranger.  Next  in  line 
are  the  Knights  of  Columbus,  T.  M.  Callihan,  grand  knight ;  also 
the  Catholic  Total  Abstinence  Union,  originally  the  "Father 
Mathew  Total  Abstinence  Society,"  Avith  present  officers:  Presi- 
dent, Lou  O'Malley ;  vice-i)residcnt,  Fred  Dugan  ;  secretary,  Frank 

Then  there  are  the  women's  societies,  which  take  an  important 
part  in  the  welfare  of  the  church.  There  is  the  Con-Fraternity  of 
the  Rosary ;  Mrs.  J.  D.  Sheedy,  president. 

Then  there  is  the  Woman's  Order  of  Foresters;  Mrs.  J.  E.  Mal- 
loy  the  presiding  officer.  Last  but  not  least  is  the  order  of  the 
unmarried  women,  the  Sodality  of  the  Sacred  Heart;  Elizabeth 
Kelly,  president;  Addie  Kennan,  secretary;  Ella  Sheedy,  treas- 
urer. Among  those  prominently  identified  with  the  early  history 
of  the  Roman  Catholic  church  at  Austin  may  be  mentioned  the 
following  gentlemen :  A.  Brown,  Thomas  Gibson,  William  Ruther- 
ford, William  Furlong,  Jr.,  Cornelius  Kenavan  and  W.  I.  Brown. 

McCabe  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  -The  Methodist  move- 
ment ill  tlie  vicinity  of  Austin  had  its  beginning  in  1854,  when 
Samuel  Clayton  and  wife  came  to  Mower  county  and  settled  in 
what  is  now  Lansing  township,  on  the  big  bend  of  the  Red  Cedar 
river,  just  above  the  present  city  of  Austin.  To  their  cabin  early 
in  1855  came  a  Rev.  W.  E.  Ilolbrook  from  more  than  100  miles 
down  the  Red  Cedar  valley  and  preached  the  first  Methodist  ser- 
mon in  I\Iower  county.  The  first  class  was  organized  at  this  cabin, 
with  R.  Dobbin  as  leader,  and  P^lsie  Dobbin,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Samuel 
Chiytnii  and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  N.  G.  Perry  as  members.  The  first 
(|n;irlcily  meeting  was  held  at  this  same  cabin  in  June,  1855,  and 
Hir  \\rv.  ^\y.  Colctn/m,  presiding  elder,  was  present.  The  Rev. 
.Mr.  Ilolbrook  di'sci'vcs  more  than  passing  mention.  .He  was  a  man 
of  loiii,'!!  exterior  and  appearance  but  with  a  heart  of  gold.  He 
had  a  rrooked  nose  and  distorted  mouth,  and  on  making  his  first 
appearance  in  a  locality  was  wont,  lialf  facetiously,  half  seriously, 
to  remark  thai  il'  sudi  a  crooked  stick  as  he  eonid  be  of  any  serv- 
ice he  would  be  a  very  willing  servant. 

Shortly  afterward  the  Rev.  Sylvester  i1ieli)s  organized  what 
was  known   as  the  Cedar  Mission   within   the   [iresent  limits  of 

HlSTOJi'Y  OF  .M()\Vi:i,'  COlNI  ^'  -^jl) 

Austin  city.  The  first  quarterly  conference  was  held  at  the  home 
of  Silas  Dutcher  in  the  village  of  Austin,  October  18,  1856.  In 
the  fall  of  1857  came  Moses  Mapes,  who  had  just  been  licensed  to 
preach.  These  early  services  were  held  in  the  old  Headquarters 
building,  and  also  in  the  Lake  building  on  Mill  street,  on  the  land 
now  occupied  by  the  H.  C.  Waldecker  buildings.  In  December, 
1S57,  under  his  pastorate  the  first  movement  was  made  toward 
securing  church  property  in  Avistin,  and  a  committee  was  ap- 
l)ointed  at  that  time  to  confer  with  the  town  authorities  with 
reference  to  purchasing  lots  for  a  church  and  parsonage,  l)ut  it 
was  not  until  May,  1861,  that  the  lots  were  fully  secured. 

In  the  spring  of  1858  came  a  most  interesting  character  in 
Kev.  J.  C.  Dyer,  who  was  known  as  "Father"  Dyer.  He  had 
been  a  miner  in  "Wisconsin,  and  was  a  man  of  splendid  physique 
and  very  strong.  He  became  a  circuit  rider  through  this  and 
Freeborn  counties.  He  wore  a  dilapidated  plug  hat  and  rode  a 
raw  bone  horse.  He  did  not  possess  much  of  this  world's  goods, 
and  L.  N.  Griffith,  who  was  second  postmaster  of  Austin,  recalls 
giving  Father  Dyer  stamps  for  his  letters,  as  the  reverend  gentle- 
man never  had  anything  to  buy  with.  He  conducted  revival  serv- 
ices at  Cedar  City  and  won  all  the  inhabitants  to  the  church  except 
three  or  four.  He  also  held  a  camp  meeting,  the  first  ever  held 
in  the  county,  on  the  land  now  used  for  Oakwood  cemetery.  A 
life  story  of  this  rough  but  noble  soldier  of  the  cross  would  be 
one  of  intense  interest.  In  the  state  capitol  at  Cheyenne,  Wyo., 
is  the  statue  of  this  early  circuit  rider  of  Mower  county,  the  statue 
being  in  memory  of  the  work  that  this  rough  old  crusader  did 
among  the  mountaineers  and  miners  of  Wyoming.  Father  Dyer 
was  on  the  circuit  but  a  year. 

In  1859  Moses  Mapes  again  returned,  and  in  the  fall  of  1860 
came  Rev.  F.  A.  Conwell,  with  whom  was  associated  Rev.  George 
E.  Strobridge.  The  latter  remained  but  part  of  the  year.  In  the 
fall  of  1861  Rev.  D.  Tice  became  preacher  in  charge,  with  J. 
Lambert.son  as  assistant.  In  1862  the  circuit,  which  had  embraced 
fourteen  appointments,  Avas  divided,  and  Austin  became  a  part  of 
the  Austin  circuit.  In  the  fall  of  1863  S.  T.  Sterret  became  pastor, 
lie  was  followed  in  1864  by  William  C.  Shaw.  In  1865  Austin 
was  attached  to  the  Lansing  circuit,  with  W.  II.  Soule  and  S.  N. 
Phelps  as  pastors.  At  this  time  the  Cedar  City  circuit  was  organ- 
ized. In  the  fall  of  1866  Austin  was  made  a  station,  with  Wayne 
Carver  as  pastor. 

The  first  Methodist  meetings  in  Austin  were  held  at  the  lionie 
of  ^Irs.  Chauncey  Leverich.  Other  early  Methodist  services  were 
held  in  the  old  Headquarters  building  and  in  a  building  on  the 
corner  of  Mill  and  Chatham  streets,  both  these  l)uildings  being 
siiared  as  meeting  places  with  the  Congregationalists  and  the  Hap- 


tists.  In  1861.  under  the  Rev.  Tire,  the  first  flmreli  was  built. 
There  were  only  twelve  members  of  that  early  ehureh.  and  most 
of  these  were  women.  They  purchased  the  land  where  the  Luth- 
eran church  now  stands,  and  there  erected  their  building.  The 
preacher  himself  dug  the  rock  from  the  river  bed  with  a  erow 
bar.  A  bell  was  put  in  the  steeple,  and  its  peal  was  the  first  that 
broke  upon  the  air  of  Mower  county  in  call  to  wor.ship.  The 
church  cost  $1,400  in  money,  and  much  more  in  sacrifice.  Soon 
after  the  completion  of  this  building  a  revival  was  held,  and  many 
names  added  to  the  church  rolls.  A  cabinet  organ  was  purchased 
later,  this  being  the  first  ever  brought  into  iMower  county.  The 
church  was  in  debt  $300,  but  the  people  Avent  ahead  and  built  a 
parsonage,  and  it  was  not  imtil  1876,  ten  years  later,  that  the  $300 
del)t  could  be  paid. 

In  1868  came  that  unfortunate  affair  that  nearly  wrecked  the 
church  and  retarded  its  progress  many  years.  The  pastor.  A.  J. 
Nelson,  and  some  of  the  members  conceived  the  plan  of  buying 
three  lots  on  the  southeast  corner  of  Main  and  Water  streets,  and 
erecting  a  two-story  building.  The  upper  floor  was  to  be  used  for 
an  auditorium  or  church,  and  the  lower  floor  was  to  be  rented  for 
stores,  thus  providing  an  income  for  the  church.  To  carry  out  the 
plan  the  church  already  erected  was  mortgaged,  and  paid  in  on 
the  lots  which  were  to  cost  $3,000.  No  money  could  be  raised 
for  the  building,  and  the  previous  indebtedness,  with  the  failure  of 
the  scheme,  cost  the  Methodists  their  church  and  parsonage.  The 
St.  Olaf  Scandinavian  church,  which  was  organized  in  1867,  pur- 
chased the  mortgaged  church  for  $1,500,  and  the  building  was  oc- 
cupied by  the  Lutherans  until  they  were  ready  to  build,  at  which 
time  it  was  moved  to  the  west  part  of  the  city.  Rev.  Nelson 
resigned  in  the  fall  of  1868  and  was  followed  in  the  fall  of  1869 
by  J.  M.  Rogers,  who  only  remained  one  year,  and  was  succeeded 
by  Rev.  J.  R.  Creighton.  The  last  named  gentleman  resigned  in 
October,  1870. 

In.  1871,  under  A.  B.  Bishop,  a  new  place  of  worship  was  se- 
cured. An  excursion  to  Minneapolis  netted  the  church  a  goodly 
ain'ount  after  paying  all  outstanding  debts,  and  the  old  brick 
school  house  on  the  corner  where  the  Carnegie  library  now  stands 
Avas  rented  from  December,  1871,  to  June,  1873.  On  the  latter  date 
the  society  bought  the  building  for  $1,500,  making  the  last  pay- 
ment JuTTO  6,  1883.  In  1887  the  building  was  sold  back  to  the 

After  the  affairs  of  the  church  were  practically  straightened 
Rev.  Bishop  resigned  his  position  here  and  for  a  long  while  the 
work  of  the  church  went  on  practically  the  same.  Those  who  suc- 
ceeded the  Rev.  Bishop  were  as  follows:  Rev.  Levi  Hall,  1873  to 
1875;  Rev.  IT.  J.  Crist.  1S75  until  1877:  Rev.  A.  Williams.  1877  to 


1879:  Rev.  Alfred  Cresscy,  1879  to  1881;  Rev.  E.  R.  Lathrop,  1881 
until  June  of  1883,  Avhen  Rev.  E.  P.  Robinson  eame  to  fill  the  un- 
expired year.  Rev.  A.  AV.  Edwards  came  1884  and  remained  until 
1887.  In  October  of  that  year  the  Rev.  S.  II.  Dewart  came  to 
Austin  and  under  his  pastorate,  or  the  year  1888,  the  congregation 
dedicated  a  wooden  church  on  the  present  site  of  the  IMcCabe 
church  at  a  cost  of  about  $7,000.  After  his  resignation  in  the  year 
1890  the  next  succession  of  pastors  were :  Rev.  S.  L.  Shumate  for 
one-half  year  and  Rev.  George  Cook  for  the  balance  of  that  year ; 
Rev.  G.  S.  Briggs,  1891  to  1893 ;  Rev.  S.  C.  McAds,  1893  to  1896 ; 
Rev.  F.  H.  Cone,  1896  to  1900;  Rev.  J.  M.  Brown,  1900  to  1904. 
Rev.  G.  W.  Lutz  commenced  his  labors  with  the  church  in  October 
of  1904.  He  set  to  work  building  up  the  congregation  of  his 
church  and  during  the  great  revival  campaign,  conducted  by 
"Billy"  Sunday,  the  noted  CA'angelist,  in  the  spring  of  1906,  many 
members  Avere  added  to  the  church.  In  July  of  1906  the  old 
Avooden  church,  Avhich  had  done  service  for  twenty  years,  was  torn 
doAvn  to  make  room  for  the  present  building.  The  foundation  Avas 
started  in  September  of  that  year  and  the  work  Avas  in  progress 
for  tAvo  years.  The  beautiful  ncAV  edifice  Avas  dedicated  June  28, 
1908,  the  cost  of  the  structure  being  about  $40,000.  The  building 
is  of  the  Roman  style  of  architecture,  Avith  a  Greek  gable  to  the 
south  and  an  approach  of  fourteen  steps.  It  is  78x98  feet,  sur- 
mounted by  a  beautiful  art  glass  dome.  The  auditorium  occupies 
the  entire  main  floor,  AAdth  the  exception  of  vestibule,  choir  loft, 
choir  room  and  pastor's  study.  It  Avill  seat  800  people  and  has  a 
gallery  seating  400,  making  an  entire  seating  capacity  of  1,200. 
The  building  is  practically  fireproof,  Avith  nothing  A\'hich  could 
burn  except  the  furniture,  AvoodAvork  and  OA^erlying  floor.  The 
basement,  which  is  finished  in  white  brick,  contains  an  assembly 
room  seating  300,  around  Avhich  are  eleven  class  rooms.  There  are 
also  laA'atories,  cloak  rooms,  dining  room,  kitchen  and  boiler  room. 
The  fuel  house  is  outside  the  church. 

Rev.  Lutz  remained  AA-ith  the  church  here  until  1909,  at  Avhich 
time  he  moved  to  Minneapolis,  and  the  Rev.  J.  F.  Stout,  of  the  St. 
Paul  district,  Avas  called  to  serve  the  Austin  congregation.  He  is  a 
broad-minded  man,  of  executive  influence,  firm  in  his  purpose  to 
administer  to  the  Avants  of  his  pulpit.  Dr.  Stout  Avas  born  in  the 
hamlet  of  Potter,  Yates  county,  Ncav  York,  from  Avhere  at  the  age 
of  five  he  moved  into  the  state  of  loAva  and  attended  the  country 
schools.  At  the  age  of  eighteen  he  entered  NortliAvestern  Uni- 
versity, at  Avhich  place  he  took  both  the  preparatory  and  regular 
university  courses,  and  graduated  1875.  Upon  leaving  college  he 
.ioined  the  Illinois  conference  and  preached  at  a  number  of  places, 
including  Pittsfield,  Springfield,  Quiney,  Danville  and  Blooming- 
ton.     After  the  last  named  place  he  removed  to  Minnesota,  1887, 


aud  served  the  Clinton  Avenue  Church,  St.  Paul,  afterward  the 
First  Church  of  Minneapolis ;  also  at  Mankato  and  Red  Wing,  and 
thence  again  to  St.  Paul,  from  which  place  he  Avas  called  to  Austin. 

The  church  continues  to  flourish  and  many  societies  are  in 
prominence,  the  Woman's  Home  Missionar.y  Society,  the  Foreign 
Missionary  Society,  Ladies'  Aid,  the  Priscillas,  the  Young  Men's 
Club,  and  Sunday  school,  of  which  last  named  Roy  Furtney  is 

Presbyterian  Church.  In  1867  Rev.  H.  A.  Mayhew  visited  Aus- 
tin for  the  special  purpose  of  looking  up  Presbyterians  who  had 
not  connected  themselves  with  any  church  organization.  He  col- 
lected a  number  together  and  preached  to  them  at  such  times  as  he 
could  procure  a  room.  August  20,  1867,  he,  assisted  by  Rev.  Shel- 
don Jackson,  by  authority  of  the  Presbytery  of  Southern  Minne- 
sota, organized  the  first  Presbyterian  church  of  Austin.  On  the 
20th  of  October,  1867,  Rev.  Mayhew  organized  the  society  into  a 
business  meeting,  which  elected  the  following  board  of  trustees : 
Ira  Jones,  Lyman  A.  Sherwood,  James  C.  Day,  T.  W.  Woodard 
and  Joseph  G.  "Warner.  The  board  organized  by  electing  Ira 
Jones  chairman,  L.  A.  Sherwood  clerk  and  James  C.  Day  treas- 
urer. The  congregation  authorized  the  trustees  to  purchase  a  lot 
and  erect  a  suitable  house  of  worship.  This  they  did,  and  pur- 
chased property  on  the  corner  of  North  St.  Paul  street  and  West 
]\Iill  street,  and  in  the  spring  of  1868  erected  the  house  of  worship 
where  June  11,  1868,  the  congregation  met  and  elected  George 
Johnston  and  Robert  F.  Rankin  ruling  elders.  On  the  twenty- 
fourth  of  the  same  month  the  church  edifice  was  dedicated  to  the 
services  of  God,  the  dedicatorial  sermon  being  preached  by  Rev. 
Sheldon  Jackson.  At  the  close  of  the  service  $500  was  raised  by 
subscription  to  pay  off  the  church  debt.  At  that  time  the  mem- 
bership numbered  seventeen,  with  Rev.  H.  A.  Mayhew  as  pastor. 
This  building  is  now  used  by  the  Grand  Ai'ray  of  the  Republic. 
However,  the  Presbyterian  cause  grew  dimmer  and  not  until  the 
fall  of  1877  did  it  show  much  progress.  In  that  year  the  Pres- 
bytery of  AYinona  revived  the  organization,  changing  the  site  to 
the  Third  ward,  placing  in  charge  Rev.  D.  P.  Grosscup,  who  re- 
mained four  years.  During  1890  a  building  was  erected  there, 
and  after  a  long  effort  was  paid  for.  Following  Rev.  Grosscup 
was  Rev.  Llewellyn  for  two  years.  1891  to  1893.  In  March.  1894, 
Rev.  William  Henry  Hormel  came  to  Austin  and  during  his  pas- 
torate the  organization  of  the  Central  Presbyterian  Church  was 
projected,  and  January  24,  1895,  the  new  organization  was 
launched.  ]\rcanwhile  the  Third  ward  church  Avas  closed  and  the 
mcml)ers  invited  to  join  the  Central  Presbyterian  Church.  After 
the  starting  of  the  neAV  Baptist  church  by  that  denomination  the 
old  one  framed  in  native  oak  was  purchased  and  removed  to  the 


corner  of  West  Water  and  North  St.  Paul  streets.  It  was  remod- 
eled and  became  the  church  home  of  the  new  organization.  Mr. 
Ilormel  ministered  to  this  church  continuallj^  until  December, 
1900.  During  his  term,  of  service  the  church  grew  rapidly  and 
prSmised  speedily  to  develop  into  a  strong  church.  The  next 
minister  was  Rev.  Rhinehart,  who  began  his  labors  February  1, 
1900,  resigning  November  1  of  the  same  year.  Mr.  Rhinehart  was 
succeeded  by  Rev.  B.  H.  Kroeze,  who  served  as  stated  supply 
from  March  1,  1901,  to  January  1,  1903.  After  a  vacancy  of  .three 
months,  Rev.  Arthur  B.  Miller  became  pastor  April,  1903,  and  re- 
signed January  1,  1904.  A  vacancy  of  six  months  followed.  July 
1,  1904,  Rev.  T.  M.  Cornelison  began  as  pastor,  resigning  November 
1.  1905. 

The  chiirch.  weakened  by  vacancies  and  short  pastorates, 
racked  with  dissensions,  which  naturally  arise  under  such  condi- 
tions, was  illy  prepared  to  endure  another  six  months  without  a 
minister.  It  was  a  dreary  outlook,  when  March  1,  1906,  Rev. 
AVilliam  E.  Sloan,  Ph.  D.,  took  charge.  In  seven  months  the  or- 
ganization grew  to  a  solid  membei'ship  of  205.  In  addition  to  the 
splendid  growth  a  new  house  of  worship  was  erected  at  a  cost  of 
.$15,000.  Rev.  Sloan  resigned  and  was  followed  by  Rev.  J.  C. 
Davis,  who  remained  a  time,  and  since  his  leaving  the  church  has 
been  without  a  pastor.  The  societies  represented  in  the  church  are 
the  "Woman's  Missionary,  Ladies'  Aid,  Help-a-Man  Brotherhood, 
and  the  Sunday  school. 

Christian  Science.  The  birth  of  Christian  Science  in  Austin 
Avas  in  the  year  1889,  when  Mrs.  Mary  A.  Engle,  who  was  tlieu 
an  invalid,  hearing  of  its  wonderful  cures,  procured  a  copy  of  its 
text-book.  Science  and  Health,  with  Key  to  the  Scriptures,  by 
]\Iary  Baker  Eddy,  the  discoverer  and  founder  of  Christian 
Science.  She  was  soon  healed  of  all  her  ailments  and  began  to 
hold  regular  services  in  her  own  home  with  only  a  few  members 
of  the  family  for  audience.  This  was  continued  for  three  years, 
with  two  or  three  others  becoming  interested.  In  the  spring  of 
1893  interest  had  grown  sufficiently  to  enable  this  little  band  to 
form  a  class  for  Christian  Science  teaching  by  one  of  ]\Irs.  Eddy's 
loyal  students.  These  students  organized  a  Christian  Science 
society  and  held  regular  services  in  the  Engle  home  until  the 
year  1896,  when  the  growth  of  the  society  demanded  larger 
quarters  and  a  more  public  meeting  place.  The  Woodman  hall 
on  Main  street  was  rented  for  this  purpose.  In  1897  the  .society 
organized  into  First  Church  of  Christ,  Scientist,  according  to  the 
statutes  of  the  state  of  Minnesota  and  in  conformity  with  the 
rules  and  l)y-laws  of  the  First  Church  of  Christ,  Scientist,  Boston, 
]Mass.  There  were  five  charter  mcml)ers.  Francis  A.  Engle,  Mrs. 
Mary  A.   Engle,   :\Irs.   Uu-inda   Bm-k,   .Miss   Isabell   Pliillii)s   and 


Robert  AVaddell.  At  the  first  communion,  which  was  held  in 
April  of  the  same  year,  twelve  new  members  were  admitted. 
Early  in  1898  a  move  was  made  to  the  Hayes  Bros,  hall,  which 
was  better  fitted  for  religions  services.  Another  move  was  made 
in  1900  to  the  Elks'  neAv  hall,  Main  street,  which  was  finely 
located  and  beautifully  finished  and  furnished.  Public  reading 
rooms  were  opened  in  the  same  building.  In  the  year  1905  the 
church  edifice  on  Maple  street  was  purchased  from  the  Univer- 
salists  for  a  church  home.  At  that  date  the  membership  num- 
bered between  fifty  and  sixty.  The  consideration  for  this  prop- 
erty was  $2,500  and  they  proceeded  at  once  to  refurnish  it 
entirely,  within  and  without,  until  it  reached  its  present  valua- 
tion of  $5,000.  From  the  date  of  its  organization,  1898,  to  1911 
this  church  has  given  thirteen  free  public  lectures  by  members 
of  the  board  of  lectureship  of  the  mother  church,  the  First  Church 
of  Christ,  Scientist,  Boston,  ]\Iass.  According  to  the  rules  and 
by-laws  of  the  First  Church  of  Christ,  Scientist,  Boston,  Mass., 
"The  Bible  and  the  Christian  Science  text-book  are  our  only 
preachers."  The  "scriptural  texts,  and  their  correlative  pas- 
sages from  our  denominational  text-book"  are  read  by  first  and 
second  readers,  elected  by  ballot  at  the  annual  church  meeting. 
At  the  time  of  the  organization  of  the  Christian  Science  Society, 
Mrs.  Mary  A.  Engle  was  first  reader  and  John  C.  Engle  second 
reader.  At  the  present  time  (1911)  the  first  reader  is  Mrs.  Etta 
M.  Ousley  and  ]Mrs.  Anna  Franklin  is  second  reader. 

It  is  not  the  custom  of  Christian  Science  churches  to  dedicate 
their  churches  until  free  from  all  indebtedness.  First  Church  of 
Christ,  Austin,  Minn.,  is  now  free  from  all  financial  incumbrances 
and  announcement  has  been  made  for  its  dedication  on  May  21, 

Christian  Brotherhood.  The  Christian  Brotherhood  is  an  inter- 
denominational organization  composed  of  some  600  men.  Its  pur- 
pose is  to  upbuild  the  kingdom  of  God  in  the  most  practical  and 
effective  manner  possible  and  tends  to  promote  a  feeling  of 
brotherly  love  and  co-operation.  It  is  purely  a  laymen's  organi- 
zation. Meetings  are  held  every  Sunday  afternoon  in  Music  Hall. 
The  officers  are :  A.  M.  Lewis,  president ;  F.  H.  McCulloch,  vice- 
president  ;  L.  H.  Stefflre,  secretary ;  E.  A.  Dalager,  treasurer,  and 
it  is  governed  by  an  executive  committee  composed  of  two  lay 
members  of  each  church. 


Tlie  Austin  Carnegie  Lil)rary  is  one  of  the  important  features 
of  Austin  life.  The  library  building  is  of  the  Grecian  style  of 
architecture,  one  story,  with  basement  throughout.    It  is  built  of 


Bedford  (Indiana)  buffstoue,  with  stone  cornice  and  roofing.  All 
the  roof  valleys  and  gutters  are  of  copper. 

The  building  measures  56  by  56  feet.  The  main  entrance  is 
from  the  corner,  facing  northeast,  the  vestibule,  the  lobby  and  the 
stack  room  running  continuously  across  the  building,  diagonally  to 
the  southwest  corner.  On  entering  one  comes  first  into  the  spacious 
vestibule  16  by  16,  with  floor  of  terrazzo  tile  and  Mosa'ic  border. 
The  lobby,  20x20  feet,  is  in  the  center  of  the  building,  with  desk 
at  the  further  end.  The  book  stack  room,  20  by  20  feet,  is  in  the 
southwest  corner.  East  of  the  lobby  is  the  main  reading  room,  15 
by  30,  fronting  along  St.  Paul  street.  A  reference  room,  14x14 
feet,  is  on  the  south  side  between  the  reading  room  and  the  stack 
room,  and  on  the  north  side  is  the  children's  room,  15  by  24.  The 
librarian  also  has  a  private  room.  The  whole  interior  is  in  quar- 
tered oak,  and  the  floors  throughout  are  covered  with  heavy  lino- 
leum. The  basement  contains  a  large  audience  room,  as  well  as 
smaller  rooms.  In  addition  to  the  main  entrance  there  is  a  side 
entrance  on  the  northwest  corner. 

Frank  I.  Crane,  the  first  president  of  the  library  board,  served 
until  his  death  in  1909.  A.  S.  Campbell,  then  vice-president,  was 
elected  president  in  1910.  The  present  librarian,  Mrs.  Flora 
Crane  Conner,  has  served  since  the  building  was  opened.  She 
received  her  training  in  the  University  of  Minnesota  summer 
school.  The  library  contains  some  7,000  volumes,  appropriately 
divided  into  reference  books,  fiction,  biogi-aphy,  literature,  travel 
and  history. 

Historical  summary :  On  March  16,  1869,  twelve  ladies,  as  has 
been  noted  in  the  history  of  the  social  activities  of  the  city,  met 
and  organized  the  society  known  as  the  Austin  Floral  Club.  They 
adopted  a  constitution  and  by-laws  and  elected  officers.  Meetings 
were  held  semi-monthly  and  the  annual  membership  fee  was  25 
cents.  Austin  was  then  a  village  of  some  2,040  inhabitants.  The 
first  money  received  was  expended  for  plants  and  seeds  with 
which  to  beautify  the  village  homes  and  develop  a  taste  for  flori- 
culture. Their  marked  success  in  this  encouraged  them  to  give  a 
floral  show  together  with  a  literary  entertainment  and  concert, 
from  which  they  realized  $100,  which  was  expended  for  books. 
One  hundred  and  twenty-three  volumes  were  received  by  donation. 
Thus  with  about  225  volumes  the  ladies  laid  the  foundation  for. 
the  Austin  Circulating  Library.  November  9,  1869,  the  library  was 
formally  opened.  The  constitution  and  by-laAvs  of  the  Floral  club 
were  amended  so  as  to  constitute  it  a  library  association ;  a  charter 
Avas  secured  and  the  membership  fee  increased  to  $1.  The  by- 
laws were  subsequently  amended  making  $2  the  annual  fee  for  the 
use  of  the  library  by  persons  not  members  of  the  association.  The 
club  then  had  a  membership  of  fifty.    The  ladies  for  many  years, 


through  literaiy  entertaiuments,  concerts,  lectures  and  the  like, 
made  constant  additions  to  the  library  by  the  purchase  of  books 
and  through  the  donations  from  the  government  and  individuals. 
]\Iarch  28,  189-4,  was  observed  the  silver  anniversary  of  the  club. 
The  records  showed  that  there  had  been  227  members  up  to  that 
date.  Upon  completion  of  the  new  court  house  in  1886  a  room 
in  the  basement  was  fitted  up  and  set  apart  by  the  county  com- 
missioners for  the  use  of  the  library,  Avhere  the  library  has  re- 
mained until  removed  to  the  new  library  building.  For  some  time 
the  members  had  been  actively  engaged  endeavoring  to  found  a 
new  public  library.  At  the  solicitation  of  its  members,  acting 
through  W.  G.  Cameron,  they  received  a  proposition  from  the  Hon. 
Andrew  Carnegie  to  donate  to  the  city  of  Austin  $12,000  to  be 
used  in  the  construction  of  a  library  building  on  condition  that 
the  city  donate  a  proper  site  for  the  building  and  agree  to  raise  a 
tax  of  $1,200  a  year  to  maintain  and  keep  up  a  library.  While  the 
proposition  was  being  considered,  Lyman  D.  Baird  made  a  trip 
to  Washington  and  secured  an  interview  with  Mr.  Carnegie's  rep- 
resentatives. Later  the  donation  of  Mr.  Carnegie  Avas  increased 
to  $15,000  for  the  erection  of  the  library  building. 

On  November  1,  1901,  the  common  council  of  the  city  of  Austin 
accepted  the  generous  gift  of  Mr.  Carnegie  and  agreed  to  annually 
levy  a  tax  of  $1,200  and  also  set  apart  the  lots  on  the  corner  of  St. 
Paul  and  Bridge  streets  for  a  site. 

On  July  19,  1902,  a  library  board  was  elected  at  an  election 
held  for  that  purpose.  The  board  elected  was  organized  July  23, 
1902.  The  board  took  the  necessary  steps  to  procure  plans  and 
specifications  and  immediately  thei'eafter  commenced  the  construc- 
tion and  erection  of  our  present  beautiful  library  building.  The 
building  was  completed  in  April,  1904.  Upon  completion  of  the 
building  the  Floral  club  turned  over,  without  cost  to  the  library, 
about  3,500  volumes. 


(By  Jennie  G.  Keith.) 

Austin  is  pre-eminently  a  social  town.  Not  only  is  there  a  club, 
society  or  coterie  for  every  class,  age  and  condition  of  residents, 
but  it  would  be  hard  to  find,  in  places  twice  the  size  of  Austin,  so 
many  hospitable  homes  and  accompli.shed  hostesses  where  enter- 
tainment is  so  royal.  Good  cheer  and  hospitality  are  among  the 
first  articles  of  the  creed  of  Austinites.  Strangers  soon  find  their 
social  status  where  they  are  most  at  home  with  congenial  com- 
panions and  find  the  entertainment  which  they  most  enjoy.  Every 
one  of  our  many  diurches  have  their  own  particular  societies, 
where  members  may  enjoy  the  social  life  which  the  church  fur- 


iiishes.  For  those  who  desire  study  there  are  reading  eireles  and 
clubs  in  which  the  membership  is  not  limited  and  where  one  can 
follow  his  own  particular  line  of  study  with  intelligent,  able  lead- 
ers. Those  who  turn  to  works  of  charity  and  find  their  chief 
pleasure  in  lending  a  helping  hand  can  find  societies  of  this  nature 
already  organized,  where  they  will  be  Avelcomed  as  workers.  Those 
who  look  to  society  for  recreation  and  enjoyment  can  surely  find  a 
place  in  the  score  or  more  of  purely  social  clubs  of  our  city. 

Austin  is  distinctively  a  home-keeping  city.  The  ladies  since 
the  earliest  days  have  taken  their  share  in  all  public  movements, 
and  in  fact  many  improvements  have  been  inaugurated  by  the 
ladies,  unassisted  by  the  sterner  sex.  But  Austin  is  not  a  club 
city.  The  women  are  domestic,  and  care  for  clubs  not  from  a 
liking  for  club  life  but  simply  for  the  work  which  the  clubs  may 
accomplish.  Consequently  we  do  not  find  in  Austin  that  multi- 
jilicity  of  clubs  which  is  criticised  in  some  places. 

There  arc  but  two  federated  clubs  in  the  city.  Some  organiza- 
tions have  sprung  into  being  as  the  women  have  seen  the  neces- 
sity for  effort  along  particular  lines,  and  have  been  allowed  to  die 
out  when  the  work  which  called  them  into  existence  has  been 
accomplished.  Others,  however,  are  still  in  a  flourishing  condi- 

The  first  women's  movement  in  Austin  was  an  effort  in  1856  to 
keep  the  general  merchants  from  illegally  selling  whisky,  and  the 
Avomen  pledged  themselves  not  to  patronize  the  merchants  who 
refused  to  sign  a  resolution  promising  not  to  sell  intoxicants. 
A  regular  temperance  organizatioji  was  perfected  by  the  women 
in  1857.  The  next  women's  movement  of  consequence  was  the 
organization  of  the  Mite  Society  on  February  1,  1862.  This  society 
was  formed  for  the  purpose  of  procuring  and  improving  a  ceme- 
tery plot.  Many  ladies'  aid  societies  were  also  organized  at  an 
early  day. 

An  event  of  historic  importance  to  Austin  took  place  in  March. 
1869.  when  the  Floral  Club  was  organized.  This  club  is  still  in 
existence  and  has  affiliated  with  the  IMinnesota  Federation  of 
"Women's  Clubs.  The  other  federated  club  in  Austin  is  the  Art 
and  Travel  Club.  Another  women's  organization  is  the  Era  Club, 
which  affiliates  with  the  National  federation. 

The  Stoddard  and  St.  Augustine  Reading  clubs  hold  interest- 
ing meetings.  The  Sunshine  Society,  which  is  independent  of  the 
state  society,  has  done  much  in  a  charitable  way ;  the  Y.  "W.  C.  A. 
is  working  for  the  young  ladies,  and  the  W.  C.  T.  U.  is  aggressively 
engaged  in  temperance  activities.  The  Esperanto  Club  has  at- 
tracted considerable  attention,  and  the  High  School  Alumni  Asso- 
ciation and  the  Birthday  Club  have  been  pleasant  and  important 
social  factors.    Two  organizations  among  the  high  school  boys,  the 

268  IllSTOUY  OF  :\I()\VEi;  COI'XTY 

Duodecim  and  the  Kuights  of  the  Round  Table,  have  done  much 
to  advance  literary  interest  among  the  younger  portion  of  the 

Youngf  Women's  Christian  Association.  In  1906  a  Y.  W.  C.  A. 
was  perfected  in  Austin,  ]\Irs.  Charles  L.  West  being  one  of  the 
prime  movers  in  the  organization.  Neat  and  attractive  rooms  were 
fitted  up,  and  these  have  served  as  rest  rooms  for  people  in  the 
city  and  from  the  country  as  well  as  a  place  for  social  and  re- 
ligious gatherings  by  the  young  ladies.  In  1906  there  were  275 
members,  with  forty  in  the  Bible  class.  A  year  later  the  member- 
ship Avas  250,  and  still  a  year  later  it  was  200.  In  1909  it  had 
dropped  to  150,  and  that  year  a  general  secretary,  Miss  Ruby  St. 
Amour,  was  engaged.  The  membership  is  now  540,  and  the  work 
is  in  a  most  flourishing  condition.  The  Philathea  Bible  class  has  a 
large  membership,  and  the  gymnasium  classes  under  a  special 
physical  director  are  well  attended.  Monthly  Sunday  vesper  serv- 
ices are  held,  and,  aside  from  work  along  the  regular  lines,  life 
talks  are  given  and  information  is  imparted  in  domestic  science, 
household  art,  home  nursing,  and  other  subjects.  Mrs.  C.  L.  West 
was  president  until  1910,  when  the  present  president,  Mrs.  F.  I. 
Crane,  was  elected.  The  other  officers  are :  Vice-president,  Mrs. 
AV.  R.  Terry;  treasurer,  Helen  S.  Banfield;  secretary,  Mrs.  M.  J. 
Sorflaten;  county  secretary,  Gertrude  B.  Sly.  Work  has  been 
done  toward  perfecting  a  county  organization,  with  a  view  to 
special  work  in  the  villages  and  rural  districts. 

The  Ladies'  Floral  Club.  This  club  has  been  an  important 
factor  in  the  literary,  social  and  moral  development  of  Austin, 
and  is  worthy  of  more  extended  mention  than  can  be  given  it  in 
this  volume.  Its  concerts  and  entertainments  have  been  a  part 
of  the  history  of  Austin,  and  many  public  movements  have  re- 
sulted directly  from  its  efforts.  March  16,  1869,  twelve  ladies 
met  at  the  home  of  Mrs.  Orlenzer  Allen  and  organized  the  Austin 
Floral  Club.  The  following  were  the  original  members :  ]\Irs. 
H.  I.  Parker.  Mrs.  M.  J.  Mayhew,  Mrs.  E.  M.  Morse.  Mrs.  Q.  A. 
Truesdell,  Mrs.  H.  A.  Davidson,  Mrs.  F.  A.  Brownson,  Mrs.  M.  S. 
Lamoreaux,  ]\Irs.  A.  E.  Allen.  Mrs.  C.  C.  Crane,  Mrs.  L.  A. 
Sherwood,  Mrs.  J.  G.  Warner,  Mrs.  P.  I.  Sargent,  and  Miss  A.  J. 
Lowry.  Mrs.  E.  M.  Morse  will  ever  be  venerated  as  the  real  in- 
stigator of  the  club.  She  was  a  great  lover  of  nature,  and  the 
club  was  the  result  of  her  proposition  that  the  ladies  assist  in 
developing  a  taste  for  horticulture  and  floriculture.  ]\Irs.  Morse 
was  the  first  president  and  IMrs.  F.  A.  Brownson  the  first  secre- 
tary. The  .season  was  favorable  for  flowers  and  it  Avas  decided 
to  give  a  floral  show,  and  with  the  proceeds  therefrom  to  lay  .the 
foundation  for  a  Ladies'  Circulating  Library.  The  shoAV  ex- 
tended  several    days,   and   truly   beautiful   displays   of   flowers 


-were  made.  Books  were  purchased  with  the  proceeds,  and  many- 
were  donated,  so  that  November  9,  1869,  the  library  of  225  vol- 
umes was  formally  opened  in  the  old  court  house,  southwest  of 
the  present  court  house.  During  the  next  few  years  entertain- 
ments of  various  sorts  were  held  to  provide  funds.  Mrs.  J.  N. 
Wheat,  Mrs.  J.  L.  Davidson  and  Mrs.  J.  M.  King  each  in  turn 
opened  her  hovise  to  receive  the  books  and  to  serve  as  librarian. 
In  1884  the  library  was  moved  to  quarters  in  the  basement  of 
the  present  court  house.  The  first  regular  librarian  was  Miss 
Sarah  Beatty,  who  afterward  became  Mrs.  J.  R.  Webb.  She  was 
followed  by  Mrs.  H.  H.  Kent,  who  served  for  many  years.  Mrs. 
Morse  served  as  president  thirty-tAvo  years.  Her  work  lives  in 
the  hearts  of  her  associates.  Mrs.  F.  A.  Brownson  and  Mrs. 
Sarah  L.  Davidson  served  many  years  as  secretary.  Mrs.  Gibson 
was  for  ten  years  treasurer  and  eight  years  chairman  of  the 
hook  committee.  Mrs.  L.  A.  Sherwood  gave  much  time  and  effort 
in  the  early  years  in  arranging  for  concerts  and  musicals.  Others 
who  assisted  in  many  ways  were  the  Mesdames  N.  P.  Austin, 
O.  Ayers,  E.  B.  Crane,  J.  F.  Cook,  C.  H.  Coates,  H.  H.  Kent,  D.  B. 
Johnson  and  many  others.  The  club  was  federated  in  1908  and 
Mrs.  0.  H.  Hegge  is  the  president.  The  club  celebrated  its  silver 
anniversary  in  1894.  As  the  work  of  the  library  increased  the 
bui'den  became  too  heavy  for  the  Floral  club  to  carry  alone  and 
in  1892,  at  the  request  of  the  ladies,  a  library  board  of  the  city 
of  Austin  was  elected.  When  the  Carnegie  Library  opened  in 
1904  the  ladies  turned  over  3,500  volumes. 

Art  and  Travel  Club.  This  club  was  organized  in  1903  for 
the  purpose  of  mutual  improvement,  a  prime  mover  in  the  or- 
ganization being  Mrs.  L.  D.  Baird.  The  club  is  limited  to  thirty 
members  and  meetings  are  held  twice  a  month  at  the  home  of  one 
of  the  members.  At  each  meeting  papers  are  read  prepared  by 
various  members  and  roll  call  is  responded  to  by  some  current 
event  item.  The  club  has  taken  up  for  study  the  important  cities 
of  the  United  States,  the  West  Indies  and  South  America,  Eng- 
lish cathedral  towns,  English  history,  London  and  vicinity,  the 
British  empire.  The  present  year  the  club  is  engaged  in  study 
of  the  Mediterranean  countries.    Mrs.  J.  H.  Skinner  is  president. 

Era  Club.  The  Era  Club,  whose  members  are  of  the  opinion 
tliat  the  name  is  more  attractive  than  "The  Woman  Suffrage" 
club,  is  devoted  to  political  equality.  It  was  founded  by  Miss 
Laura  Gregg,  of  Kansas,  national  organizer,  ten  years  ago.  Miss 
Gregg  was  accompanied  to  Austin  and  otlier  points  by  Rev.  Ida 
C.  Hultin.  The  women  of  all  the  Austin  churches  were  invited 
to  attend  and  meetings  were  held  in  the  afternoon  and  evening 
in  an  edifice  since  used  as  a  Christian  Science  church.  Mrs. 
Boostrom  was  elected  president  when  the  club  was  formed  and 

2'*<0  lUSTOliY  OF  :\I()\VEH  COUXTY 

served  in  the  executive  capacity  seven  years.  ]\Irs.  John  D. 
Smith  is  now  serving  as  president.  •  The  club  has  entertained  the 
state  suffrage  convention  twice  in  its  history  and  its  influence  is 

A  prominent  member  is  jNIrs.  Lizzie  Catherwood,  through 
whose  efforts  the  local  end  of  the  organization  was  brought  to  a 
successful  issue  ten  years  ago.  At  the  monthly  meetings,  held 
throughout  the  year  at  the  homes  of  members,  the  attendance  is 
notably  large,  particularly  at  the  evening  meetings.  Lawyers, 
ministers,  teachers  and  newspaper  Avriters  have  addressed  the 
meetings  from  time  to  time  and  the  influence  of  the  suffragists  is 
brought  to  bear  on  all  visitors.  The  club  membership  numbers 
157.  Its  aim  is  to  create  interest  in  political  equality  for  women 
and  it  takes  a  part  in  all  efforts  to  advance  the  interests  of 
women  and  childi'cn.  It  has  invariably  sent  delegates  to  the 
state  convention,  and  occasionally  to  the  national  convention. 

Esperanto  Club.  The  Esperanto  Club  has  been  organized 
several  years  and  has  numbered  a  considerable  membership.  Dr. 
F.  E.  Daigneau,  who  was  instrumental  in  the  organization  of  the 
club,  and  who  has  been  president  since  it  was  organized,  has  re- 
ceived a  preliminary  diploma  and  advanced  diploma,  and  is  first 
vice-president  of  the  American  Esperanto  Association.  Consider- 
able foreign  correspondence  has  been  the  result  of  the  study  of 
this  universal  language. 

The  Duodecim.  The  Duodecim  Society  is  composed  of  young 
men  in  and  graduates  from  our  high  school.  The  object  is  good 
fellowship,  self-improvement  and  development  along  the  lines  of 
debate  and  extemporary  speaking.  The  society  was  organized  in 
1903  and  is  limited  to  a  working  membership  of  twelve.  The 
alumni  members  are  formed  into  an  honorary  society,  which 
numbers  fifty.  The  society  meets  every  other  week  and  renders 
a  ju-ogram  consisting  of  two  or  three  papers  on  some  up-to-date 
topic  and  a  debate. 

An  elaborate  annual  l)an(|uet  is  one  of  the  features  of  the 
year's  woi"k. 

The  Knights  of  the  Round  Table  liave  an  organization  similar 
in  many  ways  to  tlie  Duodecim.  dating  from  1909.  They  were 
organized  for  the  development  of  the  young  men  mentally, 
morally  and  socially.  Tlieir  mcmljcrship  is  limited  to  thirteen. 
An  annufil  l)anquet  is  a  club  feature. 

The  Stoddard  Club.  The  Stoddard  Club  was  organized  in 
I90(),  ]\Irs.  P.  11.  Friend  being  one  of  the  prime  movers.  Since  its 
organization  it  has  been  engaged  in  the  reading  of  the  Stoddard 
Lectures.  Tlie  club  meets  every  other  Thursday  at  the  home  of 
some  one  of  tlie  members.  Two  readers  are  appointed  for  each 
meeting  and  a  rouiul  table  of  current  events  form  a  part  of  the 


program  of  each  meeting.  The  elub  has  given  to  the  public 
library  a  set  of  the  Stoddard  Lectures  and  a  copy  of  Zona  Gale's 
Pelleas  and  Etarre.  The  membership  is  not  limited.  ]\lrs.  \V.  II. 
Albertson  is  president  and  i\Irs.  J.  L.  Mitchell,  treasurer. 

St.  Augustine's  Reading  Circle.  St.  Augustine's  Reading 
Circle  is  a  societj'  of  women  composed  of  members  of  St.  Augus- 
tine's Catholic  Church,  who  have  organized  for  the  purpose  of 
study  especially  connected  with  their  faith.  They  were  organ- 
ized as  a  club  in  February,  1907,  with  Mrs.  T.  H.  Pridham  the 
first  president.  Their  work  consists  of  a  study  of  Stoddard's  Lec- 
tures, and  at  present  the  study  of  the  gospel  of  St.  John  and  the 
sacraments  and  commandments  of  the  church.  The  circle  meets 
the  second  Thursday  of  the  mouth  for  study  and  is  at  present 
under  the  leadership  of  Mrs.  J.  Z.  Rogers  as  president.  There 
were  fourteen  charter  members  and  the  membership  has  been 
limited  to  that  number. 

Ladies  of  the  Hospital.  In  October,  1908,  a  number  of  ladies 
under  the  leadership  of  Mrs.  R.  S.  Holmes  organized  an  auxiliary 
to  the  St.  Olaf  Hospital  Association.  The  original  membership 
was  seventeen;  it  is  now  100.  Few  if  any  societies  in  our  city 
have  accomplished  as  much  as  the  Ladies  of  the  Hospital.  During 
the  year  they  have  done  the  necessary  sewing  for  the  hospital, 
hemming  sheets,  pillow  cases  and  towels,  etc.  'They  have  fur- 
nished neatly  and  completely  a  room  in  the  hospital.  They  have 
purchased  a  wheeled  chair,  to  lighten  the  work  of  the  nui'ses. 
They  have  contributed  an  annual  gift  of  jellies  and  canned  goods 
to  the  hospital.  Through  their  efforts  and  leadership  a  fine  am- 
bulance, costing  nearly  .$1,000,  was  purchased  and  presented  to 
the  city,  a  place  provided  for  its  housing  and  the  society  has 
undertaken  keeping  it  in  repair.  The  object  of  the  society  is  to 
further  the  good  work  of  the  hospital  and  to  assist  the  nurses  in 
their  labor.     ]\Irs.  R.  S.  Holmes  is  president. 

Austin  High  School  Alumni  Association.  The  father  of  the 
Alumni  Association  is  L.  N.  McWhorter.  It  Avas  through  his  de- 
sire to  have  an  organization  that  Avould  be  helpful  from  a  social 
standpoint  in  keeping  the  interest  in  the  high  school  and  also 
through  his  energy  that  the  association  was  organized.  During 
the  summer  of  1894  he  made  a  house  to  house  canvas  of  the 
graduates.  Later  a  meeting  was  held  in  the  assembly  room  of  the 
high  school,  at  which  time  a  constitution  modeled  after  the  con- 
stitution of  the  General  Alumni  Association  of  ]Minneapolis  was 
presented  and  adopted. 

The  organization  meeting  was  held  in  the  high  school  assem- 
bly room,  July  13.  1894.  with  forty-three  charter  members.  The 
first  annual  mooting  was  held  at  the  Evergreen  Farm,  in  tlie 
suiniiicr  of  ISO.").     All   graduates  of  Iho   ,\ustiii  High   School  and 


their  spouses  are  eligible  to  membership.  An  amaual  publication, 
the  Altruist,  is  issued.  The  presidents  of  the  association  have 
been  :  1895,  A.  0.  Dinsmoor ;  1896,  L.  M.  McWhorter ;  1897,  Wini- 
fred Ober  Reed;  1898,  Gertrude  Ellis  Skinner;  1899,  Ida  Eccel- 
ston  French;  1900,  Ada  Morgan  Crane;  1901,  Ida  Smith  Decker; 
1902,  Etta  Barnes  Decker ;  1903,  F.  W.  Greenman ;  1904,  George 
E.  Anderson;  1905,  Fred  C.  Ulmer;  1906,  Cecil  Freeman;  1907, 
Wallace  Gregson ;  1908,  Thaddeus  Thompson;  1909,  Chester 
Johnson;  1910,  Ralph  Crane;  1911,  J.  N.  Nicholsen. 

Birthday  Club.  The  club  in  Austin  which  has  had  perhaps 
the  most  unique  and  clever  social  programs,  and  which  is  distinc- 
tively social  in  its  function,  is  the  Birthday  Club,  founded  in 
1903  at  the  home  of  Mrs.  A.  M.  Smith.  The  membership  is  prac- 
tically Qomposed  of  young  married  people  and  the  programs  and 
meetings  occur  at  irregular  intervals,  depending  upon  the  circum- 
stances, the  main  one  of  Avhich  is  the  birthday  date  of  the  indi- 
vidual member. 

The  Civil  Improvement  League  has  done  much  toward  beauti- 
fying the  city,  planting  flowers  in  waste  places,  cleaning  up  alleys 
and  promoting  civic  pride.  Mrs.  Flora  Conner  and  Mrs.  W.  C. 
Holmes  were  instrumental  in  its  formation.  It  was  fostered  by 
the  Commercial  Club,  and  encouraged  by  the  work  of  the  State 
Federation  of  W^omen's  Clubs.  The  league  Avas  organized  in 

Sunshine  Association.  Early  in  September  of  1907,  in  response 
to  a  suggestion  made  by  Mrs.  John  H.  Skinner,  the  Y.  W.  C.  A. 
undertook  the  distribution  of  clothing  and  other  necessities  to 
the  needy.  This  work  had  long  been  done  by  the  Herald,  but 
it  was  felt  that  closer  supervision  was  needed.  Mrs.  J.  E.  Robin- 
son, then  secretary  of  the  Y.  W.  C.  A.,  willingly  added  this  to  her 
other  duties.  The  Ladies'  Relief  Society  of  Austin  was  invited  to 
hold  its  meetings  in  the  rooms.  This  had  been  for  many  years  a 
splendid  organization  of  representative  women,  Avho  had  gener- 
ously ministered  to  the  needs  of  the  poor  and  imfortunate.  Owing 
to  illness,  death  or  removal  from  the  city  only  three  members  of 
the  organization  were  active  at  this  time,  and  the  working  force 
Avas  composed  almost  entirely  of  new  members.  At  the  annual 
meeting  in  April,  1908,  it  was  decided  to  change  the  name  of  the 
society  to  the  Sunshine  Association  of  Austin,  to  incorporate  and 
to  engage  a  general  secretary.     This  was  done  at  small  expense. 

The  society  has  about  fifty  members.  Meetings  for  work  are 
held  Thursday  afternoons  from  October  to  June,  although  many 
women  Avlio  wish  to  help  a  good  work  along  visit  the  rooms  on 
itliei'  ;ifternnf)ns.  where  Flora  Johnson,  the  secretary,  always 
hiis  AV(irl<    I'oi-  willing  Ii;inds. 

O.    II.    HK(iGK,   M. 


A  vast  amount  of  work  has  been  done  by  this  organization. 
Many  comforters  have  been  made  and  distributed,  thousands  of 
gfarments,  new  and  partly  worn,  have  been  passed  on,  and  dozens 
of  complete  outfits  for  infants  have  been  made  and  given  to  des- 
titute mothers.  During  the  cold  months  an  average  of  200  gar- 
ments a  month  are  passed  on  by  charitable  persons  through  the 
agency  of  the  society.  An  average  of  ten  calls  a  week  is  made  by 
the  visiting  committee.  Every  cry  of  distress  that  comes  to  the 
ears  of  a  Sunshiner  is  quickly  investigated  and  relief  always 
given  to  helpless  women  and  little  children.  The  association 
has  been  enabled  to  do  this  work  by  financial  contributions  from 
the  Elks,  Masons,  Eagles,  Christian  Endeavorers  of  the  Congre- 
gational church,  a  lecture  by  Kev.  J.  F.  Budlong  and  generous 
gifts  from  other  friends  too  numerous  to  mention.  Last  June 
the  Herald  generously  otfered  the  society  rooms  rent  free,  and  the 
Smishine  headquarters  are  now  in  the  Herald  building.  At  the 
present  time  Mrs.  C.  L.  West  is  president ;  Mrs.  George  Sutton, 
vice-president;  Mrs.  P.  A.  Reilly,  secretary;  Mrs.  W.  R.  Terry, 
treasurer ;  and  Miss  Flora  Johnson,  general  secretary  of  the 
organization.  Too  much  credit  cannot  be  given  Mrs.  C.  L.  "West 
for  her  work  in  this  capacity.  Energetic,  capable  and  self-sacrific- 
ing, she  has  labored  in  every  good  cause  which  has  solicited  her 
attention,  and  her  name  is  beloved  in  the  many  households  which 
she  has  benefited. 

St.  Olav  Hospital  and  Training  School.  St.  Olav  Hospital  and 
Training  School  is  an  outgroAvth  of  a  private  hospital  conducted 
by  Drs.  Hegge  &  Hegge,  in  some  rented  rooms  over  the  Daily 
Register  office  in  Austin,  Minn.  Owing  to  the  rapid  gi'owth  and 
steadily  increasing  practice  of  these  physicians,  it  soon  became  ap- 
parent that  a  hospital  should  be  established  in  Austin  on  a  more 
permanent  basis,  and  Dr.  0.  H.  Hegge  accordingly  Avent  to  the 
aimual  meeting  of  the  United  Lutheran  Church,  assembled  at  St. 
Paul,  Minn.,  in  June,  1896,  and  spoke  before  the  convention  of 
Lutheran  clergymen  about  his  plan  of  having  a  hospital  organ- 
ized in  Austin.  This  meeting,  however,  could  not  be  prevailed 
upon  to  take  any  direct  interest  in  the  establishment  of  this  hos- 
pital; but  a  special  meeting  of  some  of  the  local  clergymen  and 
some  of  the  interested  laymen  was  called,  and  Dr.  Hegge  did  not 
give  up  his  efforts  until  the  Austin  Hospital  Association  was 
formed  and  incorporated  under  the  laws  of  the  state  of  IMinne- 
sota.  The  first  board  of  directors  was  elected  the  5th  day  of 
June,  1896,  as  follows :  Rev.  J.  Mueller  Eggen,  Lyle,  Minn.,  presi- 
dent; Rev.  S.  O.  Rondestvedt,  Grand  Meadow,  Minn.,  vice- 
president;  Rev.  E.  T.  Rogne,  Austin.  Minn.,  secretary  and  treas- 
U1-C1-.     P.  K.  Everson,  TTnstad,  Iowa;  L,  F.  Clausen,  .\ustiii.  Minn.. 


and  Dr.  0.  H.  Hogge,  Austin,  ^Minu.,  Avere  the  other  members  of 
the  board  of  directors. 

The  Austin  Hospital  Association,  as  the  corporation  was  called, 
inmiediately  acquired  sufficient  ground  at  916  Lansing  avenue 
for  tlie  hospital  and  training  school.  Lena  Nelson,  a  Lutheran 
deaconess  from  Minneapolis,  -was  called  as  sister  in  charge,  and 
Drs.  O.  H.  and  C.  A.  Ilegge  constituted  the  regular  hospital  staff, 
although  the  hospital  also  opened  its  doors  to  all  regular  physi- 
cians and  surgeons  in  Austin  and  vicinity.  The  hospital  is  located 
in  the  best  residence  district  ip  Austin,  overlooking  the  banks 
of  the  Red  Cedar,  about  half  a  mile  from  the  business  center,  and 
removed  from  the  noise,  dust  and  smoke  of  the  factories  and 

St.  Olav  Hospital  proved  a  success  from  the  start,  and  in  1910 
it  was  necessary  to  build  a  large  addition,  as  more  room  was 
needed  both  for  the  patients  and  for  the  training  school.  At  this 
time  two  new  operating  rooms  with  complete  surgical  equipment 
were  also  added,  as  well  as  a  fine  new  ambulance,  which  Avas 
donated  by  the  ladies  of  Austin. 

The  Corporation.  The  general  purpose  of  this  corporation, 
according  to  the  articles  of  incorporation,  "shall  be  the  owning, 
erecting,  maintaining  and  conducting  a  public  hospital  for  the 
medical  and  surgical  care  and  treatment  of  persons  afflicted 
with  disease,  admitted  as  patients  therein,  and  to  do  and  perform 
all  the  business  incident  and  necessary  to  the  successful  operation 
of  a  public  hospital.  The  corporation  is  organized  for  benevolent 
purposes  and  not  for  profit,  and  shall,  Avhen  able  to  do  so,  care  for 
and  nui'se  worthy  poor  patients  admitted  into  the  hospital  free 
of  charge.  The  location  of  said  hospital  shall  be  in  the  city  of 
Austin,  in  the  county  of  Mower,  in  the  state  of  Minnesota." 

^Membership.  A.  "Tlie  voting  members  of  this  association 
shall  be  members  of  any  Lutheran  church  who  shall  have  paid  a 
membership  fee  of  $5  and  an  annual  fee  of  $1.  No  member  shall 
have  more  than  one  vote.  B.  Lutheran  clergymen  in  and  about 
the  city  of  Austin,  Minn.,  shall  be  honorary  members  of  this  cor- 
poration, but  may  become  voting  members  In-  paying  tlie  fees  as 
prescribed  in  the  by-laws." 

The  board  of  directors  of  the  Austin  Hospital  Association  in 
1911  are:  Rev.  J.  A.  E.  Naess,  Austin,  Minn.,  president;  Rev. 
E.  0.  Hofstad,  Hayfield,  vice-president ;  W.  R.  Earl,  Austin,  Minn., 
secretary;  Gust.  Sehleuder,  Austin,  Minn.,  treasurer;  Rev.  0. 
Jolmson,  Blooming  Prairie,  Minn.,  and  Seymour  Johnson,  Austin, 
Minn.  Mr.  Jolmson  has  for  several  years  been  active  manager  of 
tlie  liospital.  and  under  his  careful  and  economical  business 
miinagi'iiient  llic  instilulion  has  greatly  prospered. 

C  A.  HIAAmE,  M.  h. 

ilSTUI.'Y   OF  MOWKi;  C'orX'I'V 


The  first  public  school  in  Austin  was  organized  in  the  suinuier 
of  1856.  It  was  taught  by  Maria  Vaughan  in  a  log  house  which 
was  afterward  occupied  by  Ormanzo  Allen  for  a  dwelling.  It 
stood  on  the  north  side  of  Water  street,  where  James  Anderson '.s 
dwelling  was  afterward  erected.  The  following  winter,  school 
was  held  in  a  frame  dwelling,  remodeled  for  the  purpose,  on  Maple 
street,  southeast  of  where  the  Fleck  house  (occupied  by  the 
McCulloeh  Printing  Company)  now  stands.  Sarah  Bemis  was  the 
teacher.  The  third  term  of  school  was  taught  in  the  same  place 
by  Kate  Conkey.  The  next  move  was  made  to  the  old  "Head- 
quarters" in  a  room  Avhich  on  Sundays  was  used  for  church 
services.  This  school  was  taught  by  a  young  man  named  Saxon. 
About  this  time  Mr.  Pike  taught  in  the  Hunt  &  Bassford  building 
across  from  the  court  house.  "Headquarters"  was  the  place  of 
holding  school  till  1866,  Avhen  the  first  school  house  was  erected 
on  the  present  site  of  the  Public  library.  It  was  a  one-story,  two- 
room  brick  building  costing  $2,750.  It  was  later  used  by  the 
Methodist  church,  and  still  later  used  again  for  school  purposes. 
It  was  removed  to  make  room  for  our  fine  Carnegie  library  build- 
ing. After  the  fire  of  1890,  Marian  Miller,  now  Mrs.  E.  H. 
Sterling,  had  103  first  primary  pupils  in  one  of  the  rooms  of  this 
school  house.  Superintendent  Fitch  suggested  that  as  the  weather 
was  too  warm  to  need  a  fire,  the  children  might  be  put  in  the 
stove.  W.  T.  Mandeville  taught  the  first  school  therein,  com- 
mencing in  February,  1866.  In  1868  the  school  was  first  graded 
into  departments.  Other  teachers  in  this  building  during  the 
early  years  Avere  Mr.  Otis  and  daughter,  and  Miss  Davidson. 

In  1869  it  was  found  necessai'y  to  provide  more  school  room, 
and  a  fine  three-story  brick  structure  was  erected  on  the  block 
now  occupied  by  the  Franklin  high  school.  It  was  built  by  D.  J. 
Tubbs,  one  of  Austin 's  pioneers,  at  a  cost  of  $35,000.  It  was  not 
completed  till  1870.  September  12,  1870,  Mr.  Tubbs.  Avhile  at 
work,  fell  two  stories,  breaking  tAvo  ribs.  The  first  teachers  in 
this  building  Avere  Horace  L.  Strong,  superintendent.  ^Misses  E.  L. 
Eastman,  Eva  D.  Sherbondy,  Julia  Hobart,  Ella  Cook,  and  Loi 
Cook.  It  Avas  here  that  the  high  school  Avas  organized  by  Superin- 
tendent E.  BigeloAV,  and  Avhere  superintendents  taught  Avho  have 
since  achieved  success — James  J.  Doav,  superintendent  of  the 
State  School  for  the  Blind,  at  Faribault;  Judge  W.  W.  Keysor, 
professor  in  the  laAV  school  of  Washington  Universitj',  St.  Louis. 
Mo.;  A.  AV.  Rankin,  professor  in  the  ITniversity  of  ^linnesota. 
and  George  B.  Aiton.  state  high  school  inspector.  This  old  his- 
toric building  Avas  burned  April  28.  1890.    The  fire  broke  out  at 


8  o'clock  in  the  morning,  before  the  teachers  and  i^npils  had 
reached  the  building. 

The  present  Franklin  high  school  was  built  immediately  on 
the  same  site  and  was  opened  March,  1891.  It  Avas  remodeled  in 
1907  and  is  one  of  the  best  buildings  in  the  state. 

The  following  ward  schools  have  been  built :  Lincoln  school, 
in  the  third  word,  in  1887.  First  it  was  a  four-room  building.  In 
1893  two  rooms  were  added,  and  in  1907  two  rooms  more.  This 
school  house  was  burned  early  in  the  morning  of  January  8,  1909. 
A  beautiful  eight-room  brick  building  Avas  erected  on  the  same 
site  and  fitted  up  with  the  latest  and  best  school  house  equipment. 

The  Whittier,  a  two-room  school  at  the  south  bridge,  Avas 
built  in  1893. 

The  Webster,  a  one-room  school  east  of  the  Mihvaukee  tracks, 
was  opened  in  1891. 

The  Sumner,  a  four-room  brick  school  in  the  north  part  of  the 
city,  was  erected  in  1894. 

The  "Washington,  a  four-room  brick  school,  AA^as  erected  in 
1907.  It  is  across  the  road  from  the  high  school  building,  and  the 
entire  basement  is  occupied  by  the  high  school  gymnasium,  Avith 
shoAA^cr  baths  and  dressing  rooms.  It  is  heated  from  the  high 
school  plant. 

The  Franklin,  Lincoln,  Sumner  and  Washington  schools  haA'e 
fan  A^entilation.  The  Washington  building  is  unique  in  that  the 
heating  coils  and  fan  are  located  in  the  attic,  the  Avarni  fresh  air 
being  bloAA'u  doAA^n  instead  of  up,  as  is  usually  done.  The  build- 
ings are  all  in  first-class  condition  and  great  care  is  taken  to  keep 
them  clean  and  sanitary. 

The  people  of  Austin  have  ahvays  taken  great  pride  in  their 
school  and  have  not  been  satisfied  Avith  anything  but  the  best.  The 
first  class  to  graduate  from  the  high  school  Avas  in  1877.  It  con- 
sisted of  tAvo  members,  Rose  E.  Litchfield  and  Olie  Crane.  A  class 
lias  graduated  each  year  Avith  the  exception  of  1885.  The  total 
number  to  receive  diplomas,  including  the  class  of  1911,  is  621 — 
i48  girls  and  173  boys.  There  is  a  noticeable  increase  in  the  per- 
centage of  boys  in  the  classes  during  the  last  fcAV  years,  although 
the  class  of  1882  Avas  all  boys — Frederick  R.  CIoav,  Adelbert  0. 
Dinsmoor  and  Eugene  B.  Summy.  Many  have  attained  distinc- 
tion. The  leading  men  and  Avomen  of  Austin  are  numbered  among 
the  alumni.  A  large  number  have  finished  their  education  in 
liigher  institutions  of  learning  and  are  successful  in  the  various 
professional  and  business  lines. 

The  High  School  Alumni  Association  is  a  "live  Avire."  Among 
oilier  up-to-date  enterprises.  The  Altruist  deserves  special  men- 
tion. Tiie  tentli  issue  (June,  1910)  is  before  me.  It  is  a  twenty- 
fiv('-])agi'  annuiil  edited  by  Estella  Slaven,  Daisy  MaxAvell,  Helen 

HI8T0KY  OF  :\ro\vp:R  (orxTY  2rr 

Banfield  and  Wallace  Gregeson.  It  contains  history,  reminiscence, 
wit,  and  humor  which  every  alumnus  will  enjoy  and  appreciate 
more  and  more  as  the  years  roll  by.  The  alumni  association  is 
doing  much  to  form  and  keep  alive  school  spirit  and  interest. 

The  school  curricula  embrace  the  latest  in  educational  thought. 
Courses  are  offered  to  meet  any  demand,  whether  in  academic  or 
industrial  lines.  Athletics  and  gymnasium  work  is  encouraged  for 
the  purpose  of  developing  manly  and  womanly  qualities  and 
physical  health  and  vigor.  From  "Milestones  of  the  Austin  High 
School,"  in  The  Altruist,  I  quote:  1881,  the  first  laboratory 
started;  1888,  first  juniors'  reception  to  seniors;  1894,  alumni 
association  organized,  organization  of  the  first  football  team  (Mr. 
Selleck  organizer),  the  introduction  of  music  into  the  high  school 
curriculum;  1895,  first  alumni  banquet;  1896-7,  organization  of 
the  first  baseball  team;  1903,  first  eighth  grade  commencement 
year;  1906,  introduction  of  manual  training;  1907,  remodeling  of 
interior  of  high  school ;  1908,  domestic  science  finds  a  place  in  the 
course ;  1909,  a  high  school  gymnasium  opened,  forge  work  began, 
pottery  woi'k  introduced.  Alumni  Athletic  Association  formed. 

In  1909  the  Columbus  Parochial  School  was  opened  in  a  beauti- 
ful new  building,  Avith  an  enrollment  of  about  240  pupils.  In 
September  last  a  high  school  class  of  about  twenty-five  was 

Our  public  school  enrollment  the  present  year  is  1,264,  263 
being  in  the  high  school.  Thirty-eight  teachers  are  employed. 
The  school  board  members  are :  H.  A.  Avery,  president ;  C.  I. 
Johnson,  clerk;  Alex  S.  Campbell,  treasurer;  Joseph  Keenan, 
C.  H.  Decker  and  George  Hirsh. 

Following  is  a  list  of  superintendents :  Horace  L.  Strong, 
about  1869-1874;  James  J.  Dow,  1874-1875;  E.  Bigelow,  1874-1879; 
W.  ^Y.  Keysor.  1879-1881 ;  A.  W.  Rankin,  1881-1884;  H.  L.  Gibson, 
1884-1885;  George  B.  Alton,  1885-1886;  E.  T.  Fitch,  1886-1891; 
AV.  E.  Aul,  1891-1892;  W.  F.  F.  Selleck,  1892-1901;  Andrew 
Nelson.  1901-1906;  George  A.  Franklin.  1906. 

A  recent  writer  has  said  that  the  story  of  the  Soutliern  ^linne- 
sota  Normal  College  reads  like  a  romance.  The  first  conception 
of  such  an  institution  took  root  when  one  of  its  founders  was 
denied  the  privilege  of  going  to  school  because  of  not  having  the 
necessary  means  of  paying  his  tuition. 

Immediately  after  this  refusal  he  walked  down  and  out  of  the 
regi.stration  room  of  one  of  Illinois'  educational  in.stitutions,  and. 
pausing  a  moment  on  the  sidewalk,  shook  his  fist  at  the  president's 
window  and  said:  "I  will  have  an  institution  some  day  where 
any  boy  or  any  girl  can  go  to  school,  no  matter  how  poor  and  no 
matter  wliat  is  the  stage  of  their  advancement."    This  determi- 


nation  finally  resulted  in  the  founding  of  the  Southern  Minnesota 
Normal  College  and  Austin  School  of  Commerce. 

In  1896,  Charles  E.  Boostrom  made  a  trip  to  Minnesota  to 
determine  upon  a  location  for  the  school,  visiting  Crookston,  Ked 
Wing,  Kenyon,  Detroit  and  other  promising  cities.  Upon  this 
trip  he  met  Dr.  E.  M.  Shelde,  who  was  at  that  time  conducting  a 
pi-ivate  normal  school  at  Kenyon.  Minn.  Professor  Boostrom 
became  acquainted  with  Dr.  Shelde  partly  through  correspond- 
ence and  partly  through  a  mutual  friend,  0.  G.  Jackman. 

On  March  16,  1897,  Dr.  Shelde,  Charles  R.  Boostrom  and  0.  G. 
Jackman  met  at  Kenyon,  Minn.,  and  drew  up  articles  of  agree- 
ment to  incorporate  and  found  a  school  somewhere  within  the 
boundary  of  the  state.  The  next  morning,  March  17,  found  them 
in  Austin,  ready  to  lay  their  proposition  before  the  city  council. 
The  late  Frank  I.  Crane,  who  was  at  that  time  mayor  of  Austin, 
immediately  called  a  meeting  of  the  city  council  and  of  the  citi- 
zens, to  hear  the  proposition  to  be  made.  Professor  Boostrom 
•was  chosen  to  set  forth  the  purposes  of  the  institution  to  be 
founded,  as  follows :  To  provide  an  institution,  first,  for  those 
poor  in  money  put  rich  in  intellect,  and  whose  early  education  had 
been  neglected.  Second,  for  teachers  who  had  had  little  time  to 
prepare  for  teaching  and  who  desired  to  raise  the  grade  of  their 
certificate.  Third,  for  those  who  desired  a  thorough  business  and 
shorthand  education,  and,  in  fact,  anyone,  no  matter  how  young 
or  how  old,  how  rich  or  how  poor,  who  desired  the  foundations 
of  an  education. 

Very  little  was  asked  from  the  city  except  that  five  acres  of 
land  should  be  provided  as  a  suitable  location  for  the  future  place 
and  that  the  school  should  be  given  quarters  rent  free  for  one 

Twenty  years  ago  the  schools  were  not  good  in  the  Nortli- 
Avest.  The  settlers  were  poor  and  unable  to  send  their  children  a 
long  distance  to  school.  As  a  result,  throughout  the  Northwest 
there  are  many  adults  Avho  possess  merely  the  rudiments  of  an 
English  education.  The  founders  of  Austin's  independent  normal 
school  had  the  idea  of  building  up  the  large  institution  by  pro- 
viding adult  classes  in  common  school  branches  for  the  class. 

The  following  committee  was  appointed  by  Mayor  F.  I.  Crane 
to  complete  arrangements  with  the  institution:  Gus  Schleuder, 
Dr.  II.  A.  Avery,  E.  W.  Doer,  George  Hirsh  and  Ira  Padden. 

The  citizens  of  Austin  readily  saw  that  such  an  institution, 
properly  and  carefully  managed,  Avould  become  a  great  factor 
in  the  development  of  their  town,  and  provided  temporary  quar- 
ters, in  Avhat  had  hocu  the  old  Flock  house,  for  the  new  school. 
Meager  indeed  were  llie  e(|uipnuMits,  and  perhaps  only  a  score 


or  two  of  students  met  on  the  beginning  dny  of  the  first  session, 
September  21,  1897. 

When  the  proprietors  arrived  to  take  cliarge  of  the  work  the 
building  was  verj-  much  in  need  of  a  complete  renovation.  The 
citizens  of  Austin  delight  in  telling  how  Professor  Boostrom 
donned  a  pair  of  overalls  and,  procuring  a  spade,  proceeded,  him- 
self, to  dig  at  the  debris  that  obstructed  the  basement. 

From  the  very  beginning  the  growth  of  the  school  was  rapid. 
By  the  end  of  the  first  year  over  150  students  had  been  attracted 
by  the  excellent  instruction  and  the  moderate  cost  of  board,  room 
and  tuition. 

E.  ]\r.  Shelde  became  the  tirst  president,  Charles  R.  Boostrom, 
vice-president  and  treasurer,  while  Ole  Jackson  became  the  first 
secretary.  This  arrangement  continued  for  the  first  three  years, 
when,  on  account  of  the  failure  of  Dr.  Shelde 's  health,  he  retired 
from  the  corporation  and  Professor  Boostrom  succeeded  to  the 

At  the  close  of  the  first  year  the  college  company  erected  a 
small  frame  structure  on  a  tract  of  five  acres  of  land  given  it  by 
Albert  Galloway,  a  public-spirited  citizen  of  Austin.  The  fol- 
lowing summer  John  Harpman  erected  a  dormitory  and  boarding 
hall  for  the  use  of  the  college,  and  the  building  erected  soon 
proved  too  small  for  the  "baby  giant"  of  an  institution.  In  an 
inconceivably  short  time  the  attendance  had  doubled  and  had 
doubled  again  and  again,  students  coming  from  nearly  every 
northwestern  state,  for  here  they  had  found  the  place  where  worth, 
not  wealth,  where  industry,  not  raiment,  determined  their  posi- 
tion. The  student  body  consists  of  every  shade  of  religion  and 
of  political  belief  and  of  almost  every  nationality  under  the  sun, 
all  being  ciiltivated  and  educated  in  the  law-abiding  restraints 
which  distinguish  the  American. 

To  provide  quarters  for  the  rapidly  increasing  institution  the 
citizens  of  Austin  unanimously  voted  to  erect  and  equip  a  building 
to  accommodate  not  less  than  1,000  students.  This  was  but  three 
years  ago,  yet  so  rapidly  had  the  news  of  an  institution  of  this 
kind  spread  over  the  Xoi-fhwcst  that  the  facilities  are  already 
becoming  crowded. 

Perhaps  nothing  is  more  indicative  of  the  spirit  pervading  the 
institution  than  the  remark  made  to  the  committee  by  Professor 
Boostrom  when  the  new  building  was  under  discussion.  "Gentle- 
man." he  said,  "you  can't  give  us  this  l)uildiiig.  If  you  ])uild  the 
building  for  this  school  you  must  build  with  tlie  understanding  that 
we  shall  haA'c  the  privilege  of  paying  for  the  same  at  the  rate  of 
$1,000  a  year  until  the  debt  is  entirely  wiped  out.  Any  institution 
that  cannot  pay  its  way  in  the  world  isn't  fit  to  live." 

Perhaps  the  institution  would  not  have  been  possible  had  it 


not  been  for  the  tireless  and  constant  assistance  of  the  Avives  of 
its  proprietors  during  the  early  years  of  its  history — Mrs.  Shelde, 
Mrs.  Boostrom,  Mrs.  Harpman  and  Mrs.  Heilman — in  their  ambi- 
tion to  aid  their  respective  husbands  in  their  own  way  and  make 
the  institution  a  success.  In  the  class  room  and  also  at  the  bed- 
side of  sick  students  their  work  had  been  done,  and  well  done. 

The  students  are  scattered  all  over  the  United  States  from 
i\Iaine  to  California;  some  are  in  the  treasury  department  at 
AVashington;  one  has  recently  distinguished  himself  as  astron- 
omer at  the  United  States  observatory  at  Flagstaff,  Ariz. ;  two 
hundred  or  more  of  them  are  stenographers  and  bookkeepers  in 
the  Twin  Cities;  many  of  them  are  traveling  salesmen;  while 
hundreds  of  them  are  meeting  with  marked  success  as  teachers. 
For  instance,  one  young  man  who  Avas  Avorking  on  the  farm  for 
$15  a  month  six  years  ago  is  now  traveling  auditor  for  one  of  the 
largest  lumber  companies  in  the  Northwest.  Two  others  have 
charge  of  the  Chicago  branch  of  the  Success  Publishing  Company. 

February  6,  1906,  Avas  red  letter  day  in  the  history  of  the 
institution,  for  then  it  was  that  the  college  had  as  distinguished 
guests  GoA'ernor  John  A.  Johnson,  State  Superintendent  John 
Olsen,  and  Gen.  F.  B.  Wood.  The  guests  Avere  entertained  at 
1  o'clock  luncheon  at  the  home  of  President  and  Mrs.  Boostrom, 
where  they  were  met  by  two  score  of  Austin's  elite,  after  which 
they  were  escorted  to  the  college  chapel,  AA^here  several  hundred 
expectant  students  gave  them  a  rousing  reception.  When  the 
governor  was  introduced  the  students  fairly  Avent  wild,  for  in 
him  they  recognized  one  Avho  had  the  same  privations  and  had  to 
fight  the  same  battles  in  the  effort  to  gain  an  education. 

During  the  summer  of  1909  a  ncAV  department  was  added  and 
a  ncAV  building  Avas  built,  knoAvn  as  the  steam  engineering 

In  May.  1910,  Vice-President  A.  F.  Harpman  sold' his  interest 
in  the  institution  to  William  W.  Meiners,  who  was  a  graduate  of 
the  scientific  course  of  the  institi;tion  and  had  also  been  one  of  its 
former  instructors  in  the  teachers'  department.  In  June  of  the 
same  year  Professor  0.  C.  Heilman  succeeded  Professor  Harpman 
as  vice-president  and  treasurer,  and  Professor  W.  W.  ]\Ieiners  Avas 
elected  secretary  to  succeed  Professor  Heilman. 


In  other  days  there  have  been  vai'ious  boards  of  trade,  but  the 
present  club  had  its  beginning  in  1903,  Avhen  the  Austin  Pro- 
gressive League  Avas  organized.  A  preliminary  meeting  Avas  held 
November  18,  at  Avhich  A.  W.  Wright  Avas  chairman  and  I.  B. 
Sherwood  secretary.    Fifteen  Avere  present.    At  the  next  meeting, 

HISTORY  OF  :\[0\VK1{  {'OUNTY  2S1 

November  25,  a  large  number  of  professional  and  business  men 
Avere  present  and  the  following  officers  were  elected:  President, 
A.  W.  Wright;  vice-president,  A.  L.  Ebcrhart;  secretary,  T.  II. 
Pridham ;  treasurer,  A.  JM.  Smith  ;  directors,  J.  D.  Sheedy,  Nicholas 
Nicholsen  and  C.  F.  Cook;  membership  committee,  F.  II.  McCul- 
loch,  Coyt  Belding,  John  Skinner,  E.  P.  Kelley  and  Dr.  A.  W. 
Allen.  Since  then  the  presidents  have  been  A.  W.  Wright,  S.  D. 
Catherwood,  R.  R.  Murphy,  Dr.  A.  W.  Allen  and  0.  J.  Simmons.' 
There  are  at  present  176  members,  and  the  present  officers  are: 
President,  O.  J.  Simmons;  vice-president,  J.  S.  Sheedy;  treasurer, 
F.  C.  Wilbour ;  directors,  F.  E.  Gleason,  E.  M.  Doane,  R.  L.  Stim- 
son,  L.  W.  Decker,  W.  L.  Bassler  and  T.  A.  Revord.  The  club 
associates  Avith  the  ]\Iinnesota  Federation  of  Commercial  Clubs. 

Its  work  has  resulted  in  a  general  betterment  of  business  con- 
ditions in  Austin.  The  club  was  sponsor  of  the  paving  movement ; 
it  has  brought  industries  here ;  it  has  fostered  the  Civic  Improve- 
ment League;  it  was  active  in  having  the  beautiful  hiunane  foun- 
tain erected  here  by  the  National  Humane  Alliance,  and  it  has 
helped  to  advertise  the  city  in  various  ways.  It  has  also  been  an 
important  social  feature.  The  name  was  changed  from  the  Austin 
Progressive  League  to  the  Austin  Commercial  Club,  Aug.  4,  1909. 

When  the  club  was  organized  the  first  few  meetings  were  held 
in  Harmouia  hall,  at  115  East  Bridge  street.  Rooms  were  later 
opened  at  325  North  Main  street,  over  the  store  of  C.  L.  West. 
The  present  quarters  were  occupied  September  1,  1909,  having 
been  ecpiipped  for  the  special  purposes  of  the  club.  Few  com- 
mercial clubs  outside  of  the  very  large  cities  have  more  commo- 
dious, comfortable  and  well-furnished  club  rooms.  A  glance  at 
the  views  presented  will  give  a  faint  idea  of  Austin's  commercial 
club's  quarters.  The  floors  are  of  polished  birch,  the  walls  deco- 
rated in  old  gold  and  green.  The  lights  are  tungsten  lamps  in 
clusters.  The  woodwork  is  all  old  mission  oak,  and  the  furniture 
is  upholstered  in  leather.  There  are  two  pool  and  two  billiard 
tables  and  a  shuffle-board  in  the  amusement  room,  besides  a  dozen 
card  tables,  the  latter  separated  from  the  other  by  an  old  mission 
partition  four  feet  high.  The  amusement  room  is  50  x  50  feet. 
The  general  assembly  room  is  the  same  size  as  the  amusement 
room.  Here  the  floor  is  covered  with  fine  rugs.  This  room  is 
also  used  as  a  reading  room.  On  the  north  and  south  sides  of  the 
assembly  room  are  consultation  and  conference  rooms.  There  are 
two  telephone  booths,  each  of  which  is  provided  with  everything 
necessary  for  recording  conversation.  There  are  also  cloak  rooms, 
lavatories  and  everything  to  afford  comfort  and  pleasure  to  its 

The  business  men  also  have  an  organization  known  as  the 
Austin  Business  Men's  Association,  which  meets  to  determine  the 


hours  of  closing  the  stores,  for  the  discussion  of  matters  per- 
taining to  their  line  of  work.  They  are  also  members  of  a  county 
organization  known  as  the  Mower  County  Merchants'  Association, 
which  has  for  its  purpose  mutual  protection,  collection  of  bills,  etc. 
Once  a  year  the  organization  meets  to  listen  to  reports  from  offi- 
cers and  to  addresses  from  able  lecturers  brought  here  for  the 
purpose  of  instruction  in  promotion  of  trade. 


Austin  is  a  good  hotel  town.  J]very  traveling  man  Avho  has 
ever  "made"  the  town  will  tell  you  so.  The  first  hotel  was  estab- 
lished here  one  year  after  the  village  was  "staked  out"  in  1855. 
A  year  later  Austin  had  two  hotels.  The  city  grew  up  around 
its  hotels,  and  even  today  its  hotels  do  much  to  advertise  it. 

First  Hotel.  The  first  hotel  in  Austin  was  opened  by  J.  H. 
McKinley  early  in  1856.  Previous  to  this  time  the  traveling 
public  had  been  entertained  at  private  house  and  by  B.  J.  Brown, 
who  kept  a  boarding  house.  McKinley  purchased  from  Leverich, 
who  had  also  kept  a  sort  of  a  boarding  house,  a  frame  building 
located  on  the  present  site  of  the  Windsor  house. 

The  Snow  House.  In  June,  1856,  J.  H.  McKinley  sold  his  hotel 
to  George  E.  "VVilbour  and  Solomon  Snow,  who  took  charge  in 
September  of  that  year.  This  was  then  known  as  the  Snow  house, 
and  contained  eight  rooms.  One  of  these  rooms  was  large  enough 
for  eleven  beds,  and  was  called  the  school  section.  Snow  &  "Wil- 
bour  managed  the  hotel  until  1859,  when  Mr.  Wilbour  returned 
east,  and  Mr.  Snow  occupied  the  house  for  a  time  as  a  private 
residence.  Afterward  a  hotel  was  conducted  in  the  building  by 
various  persons.  The  site  is  at  the  corner  of  Mill  and  Franklin 

In  1876,  George  E.  "Wilbour  made  the  following  remarks  in 
regard  to  his  hotel:  "I  did  not  keep  the  first  hotel.  There  were 
three  before  mine,  kept  by  Leverich,  Brown  and  McKinley. 
McKinley  built  the  first  building  for  hotel  purposes  erected  in 
Austin,  on  the  present  site  of  the  Central  house.  Solomon  Snow 
and  myself  became  proprietors  of  tliis  building  in  1856,  by  pur- 
chase, after  which  it  was  known  as  the  'Snow  house.'  Although 
I  was  not  the  first  landlord  in  the  place,  I  represent  the  first  first- 
class  hotel.  "We  had  four  lodging  rooms,  and  from  twenty  to 
forty  guests  every  night.  To  accommodate  them  we  were  obliged 
to  open  'the  school  section,'  in  which  were  eleven  beds.  Our  beds 
were  filled  with  prairie  hay.  Our  bill  of  fare  Avas  pork,  biscuit 
and  dried  apple  sauce  for  breakfast ;  fried  pork,  biscuit  and  apple 
sauce  for  dinner;  and  about  the  same  or  some  of  both  for  supper. 
But  as  it  was  first  class,  and  as  I  do  not  wish  to  misrepresent, 


would  say  we  occasionally  had  a  little  fresh  beef.  From  9  to  12 
o'clock  every  evening  the  boys  held  a  literary  sociable,  consisting 
of  original  recitations,  interspersed  Avith  more  or  less  music." 

The  Windsor  House  was  completed  on  the  site  of  the  old  Snow 
house  in  1866.  It  was  a  frame  house,  containing  forty  rooms  and 
veneered  in  brick.    The  site  is  now  used  for  business  purposes. 

Lacy  House.  In  1857,  J.  S.  Lacy  built  the  second  hotel  in  the 
town.  It  was  a  two-story  frame  biiilding  with  an  "ell"  attached. 
It  occupied  the  present  site  of  the  Fleck  house.  Lacy  sold  this 
house  to  Asa  Brown,  who  in  the  fall  of  1865  sold  to  a  man  named 
Cole,  who  in  the  spring  of  1866  sold  to  Jacob  and  A.  M.  Fleck, 
who  changed  the  name  to  Fleck  house,  raised  the  main  part  of 
the  building,  and  put  in  a  basement  and  added  a  story  to  the  "ell" 
part.  As  thus  enlarged  it  contaiiaed  thirty  rooms.  In  1872  this 
building  was  destroyed  by  fire. 

The  Fleck  House.  In  1872,  A.  M.  Fleck  erected  the  Fleck 
house  at  an  expense  of  $16,000.  It  replaced  the  old  Fleck  house 
which  was  erected  in  1857  as  the  Lacy  house  and  changed  to  the 
Fleck  house  in  1866,  being  destroyed  by  fire  in  February,  1872. 
The  edifice  is  a  brick  structure  and  three  stories  in  height  above 
the  basement.  The  building  is  seventy-two  feet  in  length  by  forty 
feet  in  width,  with  a  Aving  28  x  32  feet.  July  28,  1887,  Mr.  Fleck 
sold  the  place  to  C.  G.  Ubelar,  of  Chicago.  It  passed  through 
various  hands  and  is  now  occupied  by  the  McCulloch  printing 

Davidson  House.  This  house  Avas  built  in  1857-58,  by  Joshua  L. 
Davidson,  as  a  private  residence.  It  Avas  a  commodious  house 
and  AA-as  used  by  him  as  a  private  residence  until  war  times,  when 
he  made  an  addition  and  opened  it  to  the  traA'eling  public.  He 
managed  it  a  year  or  more,  then  rented  it  to  J.  S.  Lacy.  In  the 
year  1870,  Mr.  DaA'idson  made  a  large  addition  to  the  house.  As 
thus  enlarged  the  house  contains  forty  rooms.  In  1872,  Mr.  David- 
son again  assumed  the  management  of  the  house.  He  died  there 
about  a  year  later.  This  house  passed  through  various  hands, 
and  Avas  conducted  for  some  years  by  Justice  John  E.  Robinson. 
Later  part  of  it  Avas  moved  to  the  northAvard  by  Lyman  W.  l^aird. 
The  Ilirsch  block  Avas  built  on  the  old  site. 

Railroad  Hotel.  This  house  Avas  built  by  the  Chicago,  Mihvau- 
kee  &  St.  Paul  Raihvay  Company  in  1872.  It  is  a  frame  building, 
brick  veneered,  tliree  stories  in  height,  and  contains  thirty-seven 
rooms.  It  Avas  first  managed  by  John  McConnell  and  Nathan 
Hammond.  After  one  year  Hammond  sold  his  interest  to  Joseph 
McConnell.  The  jMcConnell  brothers  Avere  succeeded  by  Ather- 
ton  &  Sons ;  they  by  SherAvin  &  French,  and  they  by  Hall  &  Hay, 
Avho  managed  it  from  1881  to  18S4.  The  lioti'l  is  at  present  con- 
ducted })y  Mrs.  George  H.  Sutton  niul  is  now  known  as  tlie  Depot 


hotel.  It  has  wide  patronage,  and  Mrs.  Sutton,  who  assumed  the 
management  after  the  death  of  her  husband,  jMajor  Sutton,  is  an 
ideal  landlady. 

Mansfield  House.  The  ^lansfield  house  was  built  in  1879  by 
J.  H.  ]\Iansfield  and  opened  by  him  late  that  year.  It  is  a  frame 
building  three  stories  in  height,  the  front  veneered  with  brick. 
The  house  contains  thirty-five  rooms  most  conveniently  arranged. 
It  is  now  knowTi  as  the  Grand  hotel  and  is  conducted  by  B.  E. 

The  Grand  Hotel.  This  is  a  commercial  and  family  hotel,  well 
situated  and  Avell  conducted.  B.  E.  Shutt,  the  genial  landlord, 
and  his  wife  personally  look  after  the  comfort  of  their  guests,  and 
the  house  is  popular  and  well  patronized.  The  rooms  are  airy, 
well  lighted  and  well  kept,  and  the  cuisine  is  excellent.  The  hotel 
was  originally  called  the  Mansfield  house  and  was  built  in  1879. 

The  Elk  Hotel  is  a  modern  European  hotel.  Its  rooms  are 
well  furnished  and  supplied  with  running  hot  and  cold  water. 
The  cafe  service  is  excellent.  The  hotel  is  pleasing  in  appearance, 
both  as  to  interior  and  exterior,  and  enjoys  a  good  transient 
patronage.  The  proprietor  is  "W.  H.  Nangle.  The  Elk  hotel  is 
located  on  an  historic  corner,  the  site  being  the  location  of  the  old 
Leverieh  buildings.  The  hotel  was  built  in  1909,  on  the  site  of  a 
livery  conducted  by  B.  E.  Shutt.  Burt  Churchill  Avas  the  first 

The  Fox  Hotel  is  one  of  the  leading  hostelries  in  Austin.  In 
1890,  Charles  Fox  came  here  and  purchased  land  on  the  corner 
of  Water  and  Main  streets.  In  1893  he  erected  a  fine  brick  hotel 
and  opened  for  business  in  October  of  that  year.  The  hotel  is 
modern  in  every  particular,  and  the  geniality  of  the  landlord  won 
a  large  patronage.  Mr.  Fox  died  in  the  spring  of  1911.  The 
appointments  of  the  hotel  are  excellent  and  the  table  and  rooms 
are  all  that  could  be  desired. 

The  Harrington  Hotel,  a  modern  brick  structure,  is  located 
near  the  ]\rilwaukee  station  and  occupies  the  site  of  a  previous 
hotel,  which  Avas  a  wooden  frame  building.  The  hotel  does  a 
good  business. 

The  American  House  and  the  Garman  House  are  also  num- 
bered among  the  hotels  of  Austin. 




P'  ^ 








%L  ^''^^^^ffi 




i|.    ;^JHH 

fe-^'^  '(^^^fl 







Story  of  the  Growth  and  Development  of  the  Financial  Interests 
of  the  County,  Told  by  Nathan  F.  Banfield— First  Bank  in 
the  County — Banks  of  Austin,  Grand  Meadow,  Le  Roy,  Lyle, 
Adams,  Racine,  Rose  Creek,  Dexter,  Sargeant,  Brownsdale, 
Waltham,  Taopi — Summary  of  Banking  Conditions  in  Mower 

The  Bank  of  Southei'ii  Minnesota  was  established  at  Austin  in 
the  early  sixties  by  A.  L.  Pritchard  and  A.  M.  Pett,  and  con- 
tinued in  business  for  about  two  years.  It  was  followed  in  1866 
by  the  "Banking  and  Exchange  Office  of  Harlan  W.  Page,"  who 
came  to  Austin  that  year  from  his  native  state  of  New  Hampshire. 
He  conducted  this  as  a  private  bank  for  about  two  years,  during 
which  time  the  business  increased  to  such  proportions  as  to 
require  additional  capital  to  properly  care  for  the  needs  of  the 
community.  In  the  fall  of  1868  he  enlisted  the  interest  of  ex- 
Governor  Samuel  Merrill,  of  Iowa,  and  his  brother,  J.  H.  Merrill, 
of  McGregor,  Iowa,  in  organizing  a  new  bank.  Associated  with 
the  Merrills  in  business  at  McGregor  was  Oliver  W.  Shaw,  a 
native  of  New  Hampshire,  who  had  known  the  Merrill  brothers 
and  Harlan  W.  Page  at  Tamworth,  in  that  state,  before  coming 
west,  and  they  sent  him  to  Austin  to  look  the  field  over.  After 
doing  so  he  decided  to  unite  with  them  in  the  banking  business  at 
Austin.  As  a  result  of  his  decision  and  action,  the  First  National 
Bank  of  Austin,  Minn.,  was  incorporated  and  a  charter  granted 
to  it  liy  the  United  States  government,  October  27,  1868,  with  a 
paid-in  capital  of  $50,000.  It  took  until  the  15th  of  February 
following  to  complete  the  organization  details,  and  on  that  date 
the  new  bank  opened  for  business,  having  bought  out  and  taken 
over  the  private  banking  business  of  Harlan  W.  Page.  The  first 
officers  were  O.  W.  Shaw,  president,  and  H.  W.  Page,  cashier, 
and  they,  together  with  J.  H.  Merrill,  N.  P.  Austin  and  E.  0. 
"Wheeler,  composed  the  first  board  of  directors.  The  site  selected 
for  the  banking  house  was  the  northeast  corner  of  Main  and 
Bridge  streets,  which  has  continued  to  be  the  First  National  Bank 
corner.  In  ]\I^y,  1870,  George  F.  Trenwith,  who  had  been  a  book- 
keeper in  the  bank,  was  chosen  assistant  cashier.  In  January, 
1872,  Edward  A.  Rollins,  a  capitalist  at  Philadelphia,  and  brother- 
in-law  of  O.  W.  Shaw,  having  become  a  large  stockholder,  was 
elected  a  director  in  place  of  J.  H.  Merrill.  The  bank  continued 
under  the  same  management  until  July  1.  1885,  when  II.  "\V.  Page 

28&  II18T0KY  OF  M(JWP:H  COU.XTY 

disposed  of  his  holdings  and  resigned  as  cashier  to  accept  the 
position  of  financial  secretary  of  Carleton  College,  at  Northfield. 
Minn.  He  was  succeeded  as  cashier  by  Nathan  F.  Banfield,  whose 
native  place  is  West  Roxbiiry,  Mass.,  and  who  entered  the  employ 
of  the  bank  in  March,  1879,  through  his  acquaintance  with  E.  A. 
Rollins.  He  had  been  appointed  assistant  cashier  in  April,  1882, 
and  elected  a  director  in  January,  1884,  succeeding  George  E. 
Skinner,  of  St.  Paul.  In  June,  1903,  he  was  appointed  vice- 
president  and  cashier.  In  May,  1892,  Herbert  L.  Banfield,  of 
AYorcester,  Mass.,  who  entered  the  employ  of  the  bank  in  i\Iarch. 
1886,  was  appointed  assistant  cashier,  and  in  January,  1902,  was 
elected  a  director.  In  November,  1907,  Henry  J.  Drost,  a  native 
of  Holland,  was  appointed  assistant  cashier  and  Avas  elected  a 
director,  he  having  entered  the  employ  of  the  bank  in  April,  1887. 
In  1902,  Edward  H.  Sterling  was  elected  a  director,  succeeding 
his  father,  James  M.  Sterling,  Avho  had  served  in  that  capacity 
for  thirteen  years,  E.  H.  Sterling  having  been  in  the  employ  of  the 
bank  since  April,  1896.  In  January,  1909,  Nathan  F.  Banfield,  Jr., 
who  entered  the  employ  of  the  bank  in  August.  1904,  was  elected 
a  director.  These  men  constitute  the  present  officers  and  directors 
of  the  bank,  and  by  their  faithful  and  conscientious  attention  to 
its  affairs  have  contributed  in  a  large  measure  to  its  success. 
The  organization  number  of  this  bank  in  the  national  system  is 
1690 ;  its  first  charter  period  of  twenty  years  was  renewed  Octo- 
ber 27,  1888,  and  the  second,  after  forty  years  of  business,  was 
renewed  October  27,  1908,  for  a  third  twenty-year  period.  During 
a  career  of  forty-two  years  the  bank  has  been  most  fortunate  in 
having  as  its  head  and  guiding  spirit  its  worthy  and  beloved  presi- 
dent, Oliver  "W.  Shaw,  who  is  still  active  in  its  management.  In 
January,  1902,  the  capital  of  the  bank  was  increased  to  $100,000, 
commensurate  with  the  increase  in  deposits.  Its  surplus  fund  is 
also  $100,000,  and  undivided  profits  are  $30,000.  The  taxes  paid 
the  county  on  capital  and  surplus  average  about  $-±.000,  and 
for  the  year  1910  exceeded  $4,200.  Interest  paid  to  depositors 
for  several  years  past  on  time  deposits  has  averaged  $15,000  per 
annum.  The  business  has  steadily  increased  until  the  deposits 
now  average  more  than  $900,000,  having  at  certain  times  in  the 
year  exceeded  $1,000,000.  The  total  resources  March  7,  1911, 
date  of  last  report  to  the  comptroller  of  the  currency,  reached  the 
sum  of  $1,312,301.  Tliese  figures  show  not  only  the  extent  to 
which  lliis  bank  ti-ies  to  fulfill  its  mission  and  perform  its  duty  ti) 
the  community,  the  territory  properly  tributary  to  it.  and  its  pat- 
rons, wherever  they  may  be,  but  they  also  plainly  show  how  m\ich  it 
owes  to  its  friends  and  patrons  for  their  loyalty  and  confidence 
during  these  many  years.  Owing  to  the  fact  of  having  surplus 
and  undividi'd  ]>r()fits  exceeding  the  capital,  it  occupies  a  place  on 



the  roll  of  honor  of  The  Financier,  a  distinction  enjoyed  by  com- 
paratively few  banks  in  the  state.  In  many  instances  Messrs. 
Shaw  and  Banfield  are  doing  business  with  the  thirrl  generation. 
For  this  liberal  patronage  so  long  continued,  they  feel  grateful 
and  express  due  appreciation  and  hope  to  merit  its  continuation  in 
the  years  to  come. 

Several  young  men  who  have  served  the  bank  for  periods 
varying  from  five  to  eighteen  years,  and  did  their  part  in  pro- 
moting its  welfare,  have  been  called  to  responsible  positions  in 
other  places,  and  to  mention  them  may  not  be  out  of  place :  F.  R. 
Cordley.  who  became  assistant  cashier  of  the  National  Exchange 
Bank,  Boston,  now  Avith  Charles  R.  Flint  &  Brother,  of  New  York ; 
T.  W.  Andrew,  who  went  to  the  same  bank,  and  is  now  cashier  of 
the  First  National  Bank,  Philadelphia;  A.  "W.  Wright,  who 
became  a  lawyer  and  has  been  a  practicing  attorney  of  this  city 
for  many  years ;  J.  N.  Nicholsen,  who  also  became  a  lawyer  and 
is  now  a  member  of  the  law  firm  of  Catherwood  &  Nicholsen,  of 
this  city ;  C.  J.  Sargent,  who  removed  to  Red  Wing,  Minn.,  where 
he  is  cashier  of  the  Goodhue  County  National  Bank ;  W.  E.  AYal- 
dron,  who  went  to  Billings,  Mont.,  where  he  is  cashier  of  the 
Yellowstone  National  Bank ;  L.  E.  Wakefield,  who  became  assist- 
ant cashier  of  the  Northwestern  National  Bank,  of  Minneapolis, 
and  is  now  treasurer  of  the  Wells  &  Dickey  Company,  of  that  city. 

The  policy  of  the  First  National  Bank  of  Austin  has  always 
been  conservative;  it  has  adhered  to  true  banking  principles  and 
its  officers  haA'c  concentrated  their  energy  and  attention  to  the 
aflFairs  of  the  bank,  believing  the  public  approved  of  that  kind  of 
management  and  service ;  and  the  position  the  bank  occupies,  and 
the  esteem  in  which  it  is  held  at  home  and  Avherever  it  is  known, 
seems  to  confirm  that  theory  as  correct.  It  has  passed  safely 
through  the  panics  «of  1873,  1893.  1896  and  1907,  and  through 
other  hard  and  trying  periods ;  has  always  stood  for  solidity 
and  strength,  and  the  people  of  Austin  and  Mower  county  take 
.iustifiablc  pride  in  this  sound  financial  institution  that  has  served 
them  so  well  for  forty-two  years.  The  First  National  Bank  is  a 
designated  depository  of  the  United  States  and  is  strictly  a  home 
l)ank,  as  its  stock  is  all  owned  in  Austin.  The  +ast  published 
statement  of  its  condition,  made  to  the  comptroller  of  the  currency. 
]\rarch  7.  1911,  is  as  follows: 

Resources. — Loans  and  discounts.  $729,32r).98 ;  overdrafts. 
.l!3.040.39;  IL  S.  bonds  to  secure  circulation,  .'jilOO.OOO;  V.  S.  and 
other  bonds,  -I?! 37,828.-34 ;  banking  house.  .+18,000;  due  from  banks 
and  V.  S.  treasurer.  .$242,356.04;  cash  on  hand,  $81,760.40;  total, 

Liabilities.— Cai)iti.l  paid  in.  $100,000;  surplus  fund,  $100,000; 


undivided  profits,  less  expenses  and  taxes,  $32,720.26 ;  circulation, 
$95,600;  deposits,  $983,981.39;  total,  $1,312,301.65. 

The  Mower  County  Bank  was  organized  at  Austin  shortly  after 
the  First  Xatioual  Bank,  in  the  year  1869,  by  Sylvester  Smith, 
formerly  county  treasurer,  of  Austin;  W.  T.  Wilkins,  formerly 
treasurer  of  Fillmore  comity,  of  Preston,  and  J.  C.  Easton,  a 
capitalist  of  La  Crosse,  Wis.,  under  the  firm  name  of  "Smith, 
"Wilkins  &  Easton,  Bankers."  In  the  year  1882,  Mr.  Easton  with- 
drew from  the  bank,  as  well  as  from  numerous  other  banks  in 
which  he  was  interested  in  towns  on  the  Southern  Minnesota  rail- 
road; and  Sylvester  Smith  having  died,  the  firm  was  reorganized 
by  W.  T.  Wilkins  and  Fay  R.  Smith,  a  son  of  Sylvester  Smith, 
who  had  for  some  years  been  identified  with  the  bank  under  the 
firm  name  of  "Wilkins  &  Smith,  Bankers."  They  had  built  up 
a  good  business  and  enjoyed  a  liberal  patronage,  and  their  depos- 
its reached  a  total  of  $100,000,  which  was  large  for  that  time  in 
our  history.  Owing  to  unwise  management  and  injudicious  invest- 
ments, coupled  with  the  hard  times  experience  at  that  period,  the 
bank  failed,  June  12,  1886,  and  passed  into  the  hands  of  F.  I. 
Crane,  receiver,  who  settled  up  its  affairs. 

The  Austin  State  Bank  was  incorporated  by  C.  H.  Davidson, 
G.  Schleuder,  F.  I.  Crane  and  R.  E.  Shepherd,  February  1,  1887, 
with  C.  H.  Davidson,  president;  R.  E.  Shepherd,  cashier,  and 
C.  H.  Davidson,  Jr.,  assistant  cashier.  The  bank  had  a  paid-in 
capital  of  $25,000  and  opened  for  business  in  the  building  for- 
merly occupied  by  the  Mower  County  Bank.  This  was  conducted 
as  a  state  bank  until  September,  1889,  when  the  Austin  National 
Bank,  of  Austin,  Minn.,  Avas  organized  and  succeeded  to  the  busi- 
ness of  the  Austin  State  Bank.  The  first  officers  and  directors 
were :  C.  H.  Davidson,  president ;  G.  Schleuder,  vice-president ; 
Henry  Birkett.  cashier ;  R.  L.  McCormick,  R.  D.  Ilatheway,  F.  I. 
Crane  and  C.  11.  Davidson,  Jr.  The  capital  stock  of  the  bank  was 
$50,000  and  it  first  opened  for  business  in  the  building  formerly 
occupied  by  the  Austin  State  Bank.  It  occupied  those  quarters 
until  March,  1905,  when  it  moved  into  its  own  handsome  new 
building  at  the  northwest  corner  of  Main  and  Bridge  streets. 

It  has  had  during  its  existence  but  few  changes  in  its  official 
corps,  its  first  president  being  as  stated  above,  who  was  succeeded 
in  1895  by  G.  Schleuder.  He  continued  as  president  until  he 
resigned  in  1898,  when  C.  H.  Davidson  again  became  president. 
On  the  death  of  Mr.  Davidson  in  September,  1901,  F.  I.  Crane 
became  president  and  retained  that  position  until  January,  1909, 
Avhen  he  was  succeeded  by  C.  II.  Ross,  of  Minneapolis.  The  present 
officers  aiid  directors  are  C.  H.  Ross,  president ;  C.  II.  Davidson, 
Jr.,  and  J.  L.  :\Ii1ehelI,  vice-presidents;  P.  D.  Beaulieu,  cashier; 

HISTOK'Y  OF  :\I()\VEI{  COUXTY  389 

F.  C.  Wilbour,  assistant  cashier.  These  to^-ether  with  Klhcl  I). 
Mitchell  constitute  the  directorate. 

C.  II.  Ross  became  first  connected  with  the  institution  in 
January,  1909,  in  his  present  capacity.  C.  II.  Davidson,  Jr.,  has 
been  a  director  of  the  bank  since  its  organization,  becoming  vice- 
president  in  Januarj',  1909.  J.  L.  Mitchell  became  assistant 
cashier  of  the  bank  in  January,  1890,  and  in  December  of  the 
same  year  became  cashier,  holding  that  position  continuously 
until  his  election  as  vice-president  in  January,  1909.  P.  D.  Beau- 
lieu,  the  cashier,  was  elected  to  his  office  in  January,  1909,  coming 
to  this  city  from  Graceville,  Minn.  Following  is  the  published 
statement  of  its  condition  March  7,  1911 : 

Resources. — Loans  and  discounts,  $232,803.67;  overdrafts, 
$902.94;  U.  S.  bonds  to  secure  circulation,  $50,000;  other  bonds, 
securities,  etc.,  $10,751 ;  banking  house  and  fixtures,  $30,000 ;  other 
real  estate  owned,  $55,817.69 ;  due  from  banks  and  U.  S.  treasurer, 
$79,901.68 ;  cash  on  hand,  $21,747.15 ;  total,  $131,930.78. 

Liabilities.— Capital  paid  in,  $50,000;  surplus  fund,  $10,000; 
undivided  profits,  less  expenses  and  taxes,  $7,647.19;  circulation. 
$48,800;  deposits,  $315,483.59;  total,  $431,930.78. 

The  Citizens  National  Bank  of  Austin  was  organized  in  May, 
1893,  by  C.  L.  West.  J.  AV.  Scott,  M.  J.  Slaven,  Seymour  Johnson, 
Jacob  "Weisel  and  L.  G.  Campbell,  and  those  men  constituted  its 
first  board  of  directors ;  C.  L.  West  being  president ;  M.  J.  Slaven, 
vice-president;  J.  W.  Scott,  cashier;  A.  E.  Johnson,  assistant 
cashier;  the  capital  being  $50,000.  The  bank  purchased  the 
building  at  the  northwest  corner  of  Main  and  Mill  street,  of 
C.  L.  West,  formerly  used  by  him  as  a  dry  goods  store,  which  is 
still  their  banking  house.  About  two  years  later  C.  L.  West  sold 
his  interest  and  retired  from  the  bank.  L.  D.  Baird  was  chosen 
to  succeed  him  as  president  and  director.  He  served  as  such  until 
his  appointment  as  national  bank  examiner,  when  he  sold  his 
stock  and  resigned  his  position.  J.  W.  Scott  was  then  elected 
president  and  A.  E.  Johnson  cashier.  A.  S.  Campbell  succeeded 
L.  G.  Campbell  as  director,  the  latter  having  removed  to  Blooming 
Prairie,  Minn.  The  bank  continued  under  this  management  until 
in  1902  ]\Iessrs.  Seymour  Johnson  and  A.  E.  Johnson  sold  their 
stock  and  withdrew  from  the  bank.  B.  J.  Morey,  who  had  been 
cashier  of  a  bank  in  Chester,  Iowa,  was  chosen  cashier  to  succeed 
A.  E.  Johnson,  and  he  and  Henry  W.  Lightly  were  added  to  the 
board  of  directors.  In  1903,  Jacob  Weisel  sold  his  stock  and 
resigned  as  director.  J.  E.  Crippen,  who  came  from  Ortonville. 
!Minn.,  was  appointed  assistant  cashier  and  became  a  director  soon 
after  Mr.  Morej^'s  connection  with  the  bank.  With  these  officers 
and  directors  the  bank  continued  until  the  fall  of  1908,  when 
^Messrs.  Scott,  I\Iorey,  Slaven  and  Lightly  retired  as  officers  and 


directors  and  transferred  their  interests  in  the  bank  to  Eobert 
Thompson,  of  Cresco,  Iowa,  and  Lafayette  French,  P.  H.  Friend 
and  J.  D.  Sheedj%  of  Austin,  who  became  directors  of  the  bank. 
In  1909  the  control  of  the  bank  changed  again  and  passed  into 
the  hands  of  H.  W.  Hurlbut  and  Sam  A.  Rask,  and  they  two, 
with  A.  S.  Campbell,  Robert  Thompson  and  J.  E.  Crippen,  com- 
pose the  present  board  of  directors,  with  H.  "W.  Hurlbut,  presi- 
dent; A.  S.  Campbell,  vice-president,  and  J.  E.  Crippen,  assistant 
cashier.  Vice-President  Campbell  is  owner  of  Peerless  Mills  and 
has  been  honored  by  various  positions  of  trust  by  the  people ;  is 
now  serving  as  mayor  for  a  second  time.  The  officers  are  good 
business  men,  and  the  bank  en.joys  liberal  patronage  and  is  con- 
servatively managed,  as  the  following  last  published  statement  of 
March  7,  1911,  shows: 

Resources. — Loans  and  discounts,  $119,552.35 ;  overdrafts, 
$2,487.72;  U.  S.  bonds  to  secure  circulation,  $50,000;  banking 
house  and  fixtures,  $20,326.15  ;  due  from  banks  and  LL  S.  treasurer, 
$48,603.89 ;  cash  on  hand,  $14,865.25 ;  total,  $255,834.56. 

Liabilities. — Capital  paid  in,  $50,000;  undivided  profits,  less 
expenses  and  taxes  paid,  $2,502.33 ;  circulation,  $50,000 ;  deposits, 
$152,876.82 ;  reserve  for  taxes,  $455.41 ;  total,  $255,834.56. 


The  Exchange  State  Bank.  The  history  of  the  original  bank 
in  Grand  i\Ieadow  is  a  most  unique  one,  as  it  was  not  the  inten- 
tion of  the  originator  to  go  into  the  banking  business.  As  a  mer- 
chant, C.  F.  Greening  was  engaged  in  the  hardware  business,  at 
the  same  time  acting  as  paymaster  for  several  grain  firms.  During 
the  fall  of  1871  he  paid  his  bills  by  draAving  sight  drafts  on  the 
commission  men  in  Milwaukee.  In  the  spring  of  1872,  having 
been  elected  to  the  office  of  town  treasurer  of  the  town  of  Grand 
Meadow,  which  then  included  the  town  of  Clayton,  and  some 
$1,200  of  fluids  being  turned  over  to  him,  he  was  at  a  loss  what 
to  do  with  the  money,  not  having  a  safe  in  which  to  keep  it. 
Being  in  Austin  shortly  afterward  and  transacting  business  witli 
the  First  National  Bank  there,  he  noticed  they  used  the  Union 
National  Bank,  of  Chicago,  and  the  Chemical  National  Bank,  of 
New  York,  as  correspondents.  He  thought  if  those  two  banks 
were  good  enough  for  the  First  National  of  Austin  they  Avere 
good  enough  for  him.  He  at  once  expressed  the  town  funds  to 
tlie  Union  National  Bank  as  his  bank  capital,  and  a  check  book 
of  fifty  stamped  checks  was  ordered.  He  paid  eastern  bills  with 
cheeks  on  the  town  money  and  paid  town  orders  with  store  money, 
and  was  now  fully  equipped  to  do  an  exchange  business.  The 
merchants  soon  "caught  on,"  and,  instead  of  expressing  money 

irisToiJv  OF  M()\vi:i,'  cocN'rv  291 

or  registering  letters  to  pay  eastern  bills,  they  bought  the  new 
bank  cheeks.  The  farmers  also  found  it  convenient,  and  some 
little  deposits  were  left  with  the  new  bank.  A  good  safe  was 
purchased,  with  time  lock,  and  the  bank  was  then  named  "The 
Exchange  Bank,"  and  the  rates  then  established  for  exchange 
have  never  been  changed.  The  Chicago  correspondent  was  not 
changed  until  the  consolidation  of  the  Union  National  Bank  with 
the  First  National  of  Chicago,  the  latter  bank  having  since  been 
its  Chicago  correspondent.  For  thirty-nine  years  it  has  had  an 
account  with  the  Chemical  National  Bank,  New  York.  The  bank 
was  run  in  this  way  until  the  spring  of  1874,  when  F.  K.  Warner, 
a  brother-in-law  of  C.  F.  Greening,  was  added  to  the  firm  and 
the  business  carried  on  mider  the  firm  name  of  Greening  & 
Warner's  Exchange  Bank,  until  1882,  when  C.  F.  Greening  pur- 
chased the  interest  of  Mr.  Warner  and  continued  as  sole  owner 
of  the  bank.  The  capital  was  at  this  time  $5,000,  and  gradually 
increased  until  1906,  when  it  had  reached  .$25,000.  Having  grown 
to  such  proportions,  it  was  deemed  expedient  to  organi